A Minneapolis man was sentenced to nearly seven years in prison Thursday for punching a 53-year-old man to death last year.
Tristan Keys, 22, was accused of killing Lamar Wilson on April 29, 2013, in south Minneapolis.
According to charges, Keys saw Wilson stop near a Stop N Shop at 3050 1st Av. S. Keys got out of his vehicle, accused Wilson of being a snitch and punched him once in the head, the charges say. Wilson dropped to the pavement, dying of a brain injury.
Keys was charged with first-degree manslaughter, but pleaded guilty last month to aiding an offender and drug possession charges. On Thursday, he received an 81-month sentence from Hennepin County District Judge Martha Holton Dimick.
During his guilty plea hearing and Thursday’s sentence, Keys denied that he was the one who punched Wilson.
“You seem like God-fearing people,” Keys said to Wilson’s sister and wife, who gave victim impact statements. “And as God is my witness, I did not lay a hand on him.”
Keys said the only thing he did was drive away the man who did punch Wilson.
“So you know who did it,” Judge Holton Dimick asked and he said yes. “What is your responsibility there?”
Wilson’s wife and his sister said the victim was a kind and intelligent man and an usher in his church.