After almost two years, the murder of Shea Stremcha has resulted in the guilty plea of a third man involved in breaking into the man’s south Minneapolis home and shooting him in the heart, according to the Hennepin County attorney’s office.
Xavier D. Walker, 25, pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Monday. He agreed to a sentence of the statutory maximum of 40 years in prison. Codefendant Robert Shelby, 29, is expected to receive more than 35 years and co-defendant Semaj Williams, 23, is expected to receive more than 38 years when they are sentenced on March 26, the same day as Walker.
Early in the morning on July 20, 2011, Stremcha and his fiancée had been asleep in their Longfellow home when he awoke to the sound of breaking glass and grabbed a knife near his bed before going to investigate. Three intruders confronted Stremcha, who managed to cut one of them in the hand. Walker shot Stremcha in the chest. He died at the scene.
DNA and fingerprint evidence led police to arrest Shelby and Williams. According to all three men, they planned to rob a drug dealer they thought lived near Lake Street and 45th Avenue. When they broke into Stremcha’s house in the 2900 block of 45th Avenue S., they soon realized that it was not the right home.
“Although nothing will bring Shea Stremcha back to life, these very long sentences bring some justice to a tragic home invasion, some closure to the family and some relief to the neighborhood,” said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman in a prepared statement.
Stremcha was a 2008 graduate of St. John’s University and was working at Ameriprise Financial. He and his fiancée had moved into their home during the year before the murder, neighbors had said.