Steven J. Williams faces a likely 28-year prison sentence.
Two men brought their dispute over money from Chicago to south Minneapolis, and now one of them is dead and the other is facing time in prison.
Steven J. Williams, 30, pleaded guilty Monday in Hennepin County District Court to second-degree intentional murder in the shooting death on Nov. 7 of friend Michael Hayden, 29.
Williams had been charged with first-degree premeditated murder. If convicted of that charge, he would have faced life in prison without the chance of parole.
With the plea to the lesser charge, according to the county attorney’s office, Williams gave up on any notion of claiming self-defense and is now expected to receive a sentence of slightly more than 28 years, with a chance for supervised release after about 20 years behind bars.
In the hearing Monday, Williams admitted under questioning from his lawyer that he and Hayden had driven to Minnesota in early November from their hometown of Chicago. They were staying in a hotel in St. Paul on Nov. 6, when Hayden discovered some of his money was missing. Hayden spent the rest of the day accusing Williams of taking the money. Williams testified that he told Hayden he did not steal the money.
While in south Minneapolis early the next morning, the two pulled over their minivan in a south Minneapolis alley in the 2100 block of 10th Avenue S.
Williams said he got out of the minivan, then returned and saw Hayden fumbling around with something in the back seat. Williams got behind the wheel, with Hayden in the front passenger seat. They continued to argue about the money, and when Hayden reached into his jacket, Williams shot Hayden numerous times in the chest.
The defendant went on to acknowledge that Hayden was unarmed.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482