Minneapolis 4-year-old’s shooter gets 25-year term

  • Article by: KELLY SMITH
  • Star Tribune
  • May 14, 2014 - 9:14 PM

A Minneapolis man will spend more than 25 years in prison for shooting and wounding a 4-year-old boy and two men last summer after a fight between the boy’s mother and his wife.

A Hennepin County District Court jury convicted Deontray Vershon Tate, 35, on two counts of first-degree assault on March 21 and on Friday, Hennepin County District Judge Fred Karasov sentenced Tate to 206 months in prison for shooting the 4-year-old.

The sentence is double what state sentencing guidelines call for because, the county said, the victim was an innocent 4-year-old trapped in the back seat of an SUV. The judge also sentenced Tate to 103 months for the other assault conviction — a total of 309 months in prison.

“These ridiculous, senseless shootings have to end,” County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement. “If all other methods to stop gun violence fail, then we will prosecute the shooters aggressively and ask for long sentences. We are grateful that Judge Karasov agreed that Mr. Tate has forfeited his right to walk around in civil society for a very long time.”

Last year, 48 children were injured in Minnesota by firearms — 14 of which were assaults and one fatal, according to state health data. Nine-year-old Devin Aryal of Oakdale was killed in a February shooting rampage.

And just last Saturday, an 8-year-old girl was injured after a man shot at her mother’s car in north Minneapolis, breaking windows and sending glass fragments into the girl’s eye.

On June 25, 2013, Tate walked up to the driver’s side of an SUV stopped near the 3600 block of Penn Avenue N. in Minneapolis about 9:30 p.m., firing numerous times. The 4-year-old was hit in the lower leg and had to have surgery to realign his bones. Two men were also hit below the waist. The 4-year-old’s mother witnessed the shooting and identified Tate, the husband of a woman she had fought with that day, the county said.

One of the victims also identified Tate and said the shooting was revenge for the fight between the two women. Tate was initially charged with first-degree assault and two counts of second-degree assault. Before the trial, one of the second-degree assaults was amended up to first-degree assault


Kelly Smith • 612-673-4465

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