The three men who surrounded a car Sunday morning where a teenage girl was gunned down weren't strangers to the law: One was out of prison in August on intensive supervised release until 2018, another was released from jail earlier this year pending trial in a prostitution case and the third has a warrant out for his arrest for allegedly violating an order for protection.
Despite conditions placed on them and threats that any wrongdoing could send them back behind bars, two of them allegedly shot at 16-year-old Samantha Burnette in a St. Paul alley while the third watched.
Two of the men and a woman were charged Tuesday in Burnette's death. Just before she was killed, the 16-year-old Minnetonka High School junior apparently hit suspect Christopher R. Calloway in the head with a liquor bottle after he pistol-whipped her older sister.
"It kills me," her mother, Becky Burnette, said in an interview Monday. "She didn't do nothing wrong, and she's the one who got killed."
Calloway, 32, of South St. Paul; Kalisa C. Smith, 29, of South St. Paul, and Davonte Bobo, 24, of West St. Paul were charged in Ramsey County District Court with one count each of second-degree murder with intent, second-degree murder without intent and one count of first-degree aggravated robbery.
Authorities believe Calloway shot at Burnette from the front seat of the car while Bobo fired a semiautomatic handgun from outside the rear passenger door during a robbery allegedly set up by Smith.
Court files for Calloway, Bobo and the third man, whose role in Burnette's death remains under review by the Ramsey County attorney's offices, reveal a pattern of gun violence. The Star Tribune generally does not name suspects who have not been charged.
Bobo was arrested at the Microtel Inn and Suites in Rochester on May 14 after trying to meet with an undercover officer posing as a prostitute who would work for him, according to charges of soliciting prostitution and fifth-degree drug possession filed against him in Olmsted County District Court.
According to the Olmsted County charges: Bobo befriended the undercover officer on Facebook in early May and began sending messages about sex-trafficking. The undercover officer learned that Bobo was the subject of an active sex-trafficking investigation in St. Paul.
"The [St. Paul police] officer also told [the undercover officer] that Bobo is frequently armed with a firearm and heavily involved in drug sales," the charges said.
Bobo was released on his own recognizance, with restrictions, on July 1 pending a January 2017 trial.
Police found one other person with Bobo in Rochester — Calloway, who had gotten out of prison days earlier, and went back behind bars soon after.
Calloway collected a string of convictions throughout his life — assault, theft and driving the car in a 2003 drive-by shooting in St. Paul when he was 19, among others.
In 2013 he pleaded guilty in Dakota County to being a felon in possession of a firearm and to motor vehicle theft, and was given five years in prison.
On Aug. 15 Calloway was placed on intensive supervised release through January 2018.
At his first appearance Tuesday in the Burnette case, Ramsey County District Court Judge Richard Kyle set his bail at $2 million, an uncommon sum. Smith appeared the same day, and received $1 million bail. Bobo is scheduled to appear in court Wednesday afternoon.
Several of Smith's family members attended her hearing and expressed grief for Burnette's death.
"We would like the family to know that our deepest condolences go out to them," said Smith's aunt, Alice Werth.
Smith's relatives also said that she is a vulnerable adult, and is also a victim.
"If she didn't do what [Calloway] said, she'd be in the same predicament" as Burnette, said Smith's sister Codie Evans.
According to the complaints filed against the three suspects: Burnette, her sister Brittany Rock, Smith and another woman were driving around and drinking Sunday. Rock was driving, and Smith was in the front passenger seat. Burnette was asleep in the back seat with the other friend.
Smith said she had to meet someone, so they drove to an alley in the 700 block of Sims Avenue about 7 a.m. and Smith left the car. A man jumped in the front passenger seat, pulled a gun and pointed it at Rock.
Another man approached the rear passenger window, the charges said.
"Give me everything," the man in the front said.
Rock said she didn't have anything. The man grabbed her phone and pistol-whipped her in the head. The friend in the back seat told the man she didn't have anything either. Burnette began to wake up.
"[Smith] admitted that she knew Calloway was going to rob the girls," the charges said. "Smith said she saw Calloway poking Rock with a gun. She saw Burnette hit Calloway with a bottle. Calloway then shot her."
Smith allegedly told police that Calloway had asked her if the women in the car had money, and she said that they did. He talked about taking their money, and "Smith said she didn't agree with it, but it was what he was going to do," the charges said.
Police arrested Calloway and Smith the day of the killing. According to the charges, Smith called police on Calloway later that morning for a domestic assault, identifying him as a boyfriend.
Bobo was arrested Monday and allegedly told police that he, Calloway and the third man were at his uncle's house when Smith called or texted Calloway around 4 a.m. and said she was with three girls who had money and that "Smith asked them to rob the girls."
According to the charges, Bobo said he and Calloway had guns, and that a third man was not armed. All three approached the car. Bobo walked up to the rear passenger door while Calloway got into the front passenger seat.
"All of a sudden, Calloway started shooting and when that happened Bobo's gun just went off," said the charges against Bobo. "Bobo thought Calloway shot twice and that he shot once."
Rock and the friend fled the car, and Smith allegedly drove away with Calloway in the front seat. Burnette was left on the ground in the alley. Rock said in an interview Monday that her sister died in her arms.