Richfield man, girlfriend charged in death of man shot 11 times

  • Article by: PAT PHEIFER , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 18, 2011 - 12:08 AM

Richfield man charged with murder. His girlfriend is accused of being an accomplice after the fact.

A 31-year-old Richfield man and his girlfriend have been charged in connection with the Saturday night death of Delwin D. Cooper, 35, who was shot 11 times.

Kashaun D. Pierce was charged on Thursday in Hennepin County District Court with second-degree intentional murder. A warrant has been issued for his arrest. Authorities believe he has fled to Iowa.

Pierce's girlfriend, Janette Pliego, 21, also of Richfield, has been charged with being an accomplice after the fact, a felony, and remains in the Hennepin County jail in lieu of $1 million bail. Investigators allege she provided misleading information to police multiple times during the investigation.

According to the criminal complaints, Minneapolis police found Cooper's body on E. 44th Street between 33rd and 34th Avenues S. Witnesses told officers that "multiple men" had been arguing just before the shooting and that two vehicles, a BMW and a Cadillac STS, fled immediately after the shooting. There were numerous bullet casings around and under the victim's body and a fired bullet on the ground.

Investigators later learned that the BMW belonged to the victim and that the Cadillac was registered to Pierce. They found text messages on the victim's cellphone from someone who wrote, "this is my new number I got what I o you."

When authorities found the Cadillac, there was a bag with blood on it under the car, the complaints said. A search of the car turned up more discarded cartridges, blood and bullet holes. Meanwhile, the BMW was found in the 3000 block of Knox Avenue N. It had been set on fire and destroyed.

One witness told police that Pierce had burn injuries to his face.

On Tuesday, investigators learned that Pliego had reported that Pierce's Cadillac had been stolen. On the 911 call, Pliego claimed Pierce had been out of town with her and was still out of town.

The complaints said that after Pliego's arrest, she continued to be evasive and provide misleading information about Pierce's cellphone numbers and what he told her. Ultimately, she told investigators that she knew the Cadillac had been impounded at the time she called 911 to report it stolen, the complaints said.

She also said she knew that Pierce owed money to the victim and that Pierce had told her that he struggled over a gun with the victim on the night of the shooting. She said Pierce admitted to her that he set fire to the victim's car, the documents said.

Pat Pheifer • 612-673-7252

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