A Hennepin County District Court judge sentenced a Minneapolis man to 41 years in prison for two counts of murder for shooting and killing his brother and another man in June 2005.
Last month, a jury deliberated for over a day and a half before convicting Carlos Heard of second-degree intentional murder and third-degree murder. On Thursday morning, he was sentenced to 180 months for third-degree murder with 382 days of credit and a $50 fine for the next 10 years. He was also consecutively sentenced to 313 months for second-degree murder and an additional $50 fine for the next 10 years.
Heard, 41, was charged in July 2010 with two counts of second-degree murder. He was accused of fatally shooting his brother, Jermaine Heard, in a struggle for a handgun and then pressing the barrel of the weapon against the back of Leroy Kennedy III and killing him at the same location, before fleeing the scene.
At the trial today, victim impact statements were read from three of Kennedy's surviving children and his brother also gave a statement to the court. The state and defense argued over sentencing guidelines based on which victim was shot first. The judge initially ordered 350 months in prison for his conviction of second-degree murder but adjusted the time to 2005 guidelines for sentencing to 313 months and said he believed it was Jermaine Heard who was shot first.
Heard's lawyer maintained that he was innocent and was not at the scene. In a statement to the court, Heard expressed his sympathy for the families left behind but said it was him who was suffering the most.
"I love [my brother] very dearly and I never knew this other guy [Kennedy]. Everybody wants to say that I'm this monster ... I could never leave my brother. I was the person he looked up to," said Heard as he looked around the courtroom.
Tasnim Shamma • 612-673-7603 Twitter: @TasnimS