A Shoreview man pleaded guilty Monday to covering for the shooter in the murder of 20-year-old Naressa Turner in St. Paul last fall.
Cornelius Bell, 25, pleaded guilty to one count of aiding an offender or accomplice after the fact. As part of the plea agreement, the other charges, including two counts of aiding an offender and one count of crime committed for the benefit of a gang, were dropped.
Reputed gang member Joseph H. Campbell was convicted last month of first-degree murder and second-degree murder for Turner’s death. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Authorities believe a masked Campbell shot Turner on Oct. 14 in retaliation for last year’s slaying of Dominic Neeley. Police had identified Campbell and Neeley as members of the East Side Boyz gang, which has a long-running feud with the Selby Siders gang. Turner was affiliated with the East Side Boyz and then the Selby Siders, a witness said.
Turner’s former roommate testified that Turner had said on Facebook that she set up Neeley’s death. Turner fled to Atlanta to escape threats against her, but was killed in an alley in the 900 block of Reaney Avenue when she returned to St. Paul.
Photos taken from video surveillance at a nearby convenience store showed Campbell wearing a mask on top of his head. Multiple photos showed that Campbell was with three other men, including Bell, just before Turner was killed.
Bell admitted on Monday to the court that he had earlier lied to police and said that Campbell was not in a vehicle with him before the shooting and that he didn’t see him with a mask.
“I didn’t want him to get in trouble,” Bell said.
At the urging of Bell’s lawyer, Judge Judith Tilsen lowered his bail from $500,000 to $250,000. Bell’s sentencing is planned for Sept. 4. A pretrial hearing is scheduled July 29 for a third suspect in the murder, Dangelo Masterjohn.