Two men were charged Thursday with plotting the robbery of an alleged Maplewood marijuana dealer who was fatally shot.
Ernest D. Atchison Jr., 32, of St. Paul, and Bradley J. Cook, 35, of North Branch, were charged in Ramsey County District Court with one count each of second-degree murder without intent.
Authorities allege that the two planned the Nov. 7 home invasion robbery that led to the killing of Justin Niles Wright, 31, a father of two.
Brandon L. Cooper, 30, whose exact address is unknown, was charged in December with two counts of second-degree murder for allegedly pulling the trigger.
According to the complaints filed Thursday: Wright and his girlfriend were asleep when Cooper entered their home in the 2200 block of Hazel Street and shot Wright.
She called 911 about 4:47 a.m. and told police at the scene that she did not clearly see the shooter, but heard him order Wright, “Tell me where it’s at.” She heard one shot and then saw Wright stagger into the living room, where he was later pronounced dead.
The woman told police that Wright sold marijuana out of the home and that some customers knew there were “significant” amounts of the drug there, the complaints said.
Police later spoke to a witness who said that the burglary was set up by a man who knew Wright’s girlfriend. The man did not want to enter the home because he feared being recognized, so he and his “associates” allegedly asked Cooper to participate.
The witness identified Cook by name, and gave a description of Atchison, noting that Atchison unscrewed a neighbor’s outdoor light bulb the night of the robbery. The witness said Cooper and others forced their way into Wright’s home, according to the charges.
DNA collected from the neighbor’s bulb matched Atchison, the complaint said.