A sentence of nearly 11 years awaits a man who ran over and killed a 37-year-old man on a Minneapolis street when he was in a rage about an ex-girlfriend, prosecutors announced Tuesday.
Tristen E. Baier, 22, of Minneapolis, pleaded guilty Tuesday in Hennepin County District Court to second-degree unintentional murder in the 2016 death of Roberto Bernabe Cortez, 37, who lived at the same multiunit address as the former girlfriend.
Sentencing is scheduled for Sept. 24, when Baier is expected start serving a term of 10⅔ years. With time spent in jail, Baier will serve about six years in prison and the balance on supervised release.
Baier’s plea came during his second trial in this case. Last year, jurors acquitted him of first-degree murder and failed to reach a verdict on other charges.
According to his guilty plea and the original criminal complaint: On Oct. 22, 2016, Baier was angry at his ex-girlfriend and went to the house in the 2900 block of Portland Avenue where she lived. Baier used a baseball bat to smash the windows of a car that he mistakenly believed was his girlfriend’s.
A resident in the home stepped outside and chased Baier, who ran to his van. During that chase, Baier’s pursuer pulled a knife, but Baier raised his bat, got in his van and drove off.
Baier admitted in court to still being mad at his girlfriend and upset that someone had pulled a knife on him, so after driving a block or two, he returned to Portland Avenue and drove toward some people gathered on the street near the house. Most of them scattered as the van closed in, but Cortez was not fast enough to avoid being run over.