A second teen has been charged in the deadly shooting of a St. Paul man who attempted to stop someone from rifling through his wife's vehicle in front of the family's home.
Ta Mla, 18, of St. Paul, was charged Thursday in Ramsey County District Court with aiding and abetting second-degree intentional murder in connection with the May 6 shooting of Michael Brasel, 44, in the St. Anthony Park neighborhood.
Mla remains jailed in lieu of $2 million bail and is due back in court on July 12. A message was left Friday with his attorney seeking a response to the allegations.
His co-defendant, 17-year-old Kle Swee, of St. Paul, was arrested May 10 and charged on May 12 with second-degree intentional and unintentional murder. Prosecutors have said they intend to have Swee, who remains in custody, charged as an adult.
Family members said Brasel was trying to prevent his wife's SUV from being broken into before the father of two and youth hockey coach allegedly was shot by Swee multiple times.
The charges against Mla say he was the one who was going through the vehicle when Michael Brasel grabbed him from behind and Swee, acting as a lookout, responded with gunfire.
" 'My bad, bro,' " Mla told police was Swee's response immediately afterward, the charges read. " 'I didn't mean to.' "
Investigators put Mla, who has a criminal history involving guns as a juvenile, at the scene by testing for DNA on a small camouflage bag recovered by police from the SUV's front seat. Mla's DNA was found on the bag, the charges read. He was found and arrested on Tuesday in St. Paul.
According to the criminal complaints:
Brasel's wife, Hilary Brasel, said he saw someone rummaging through her car. Brasel's son told investigators he heard his dad yell, ''What are you doing?" before gunshots rang out. The boy looked outside and saw a male get in a vehicle and speed away.
Hilary Brasel went to her wounded husband and started chest compressions and called for help as onlookers phoned 911. Brasel's wife said someone apparently had rifled through the car and placed items from the center console on the driver's seat.
Investigators reviewed neighbors' camera footage and saw the suspected vehicle leaving the crime scene. Officers pieced together a call to Lauderdale police earlier that day about a similar vehicle there that lost its bumper while swerving to avoid a stopped car. Officers recovered the bumper with a Minnesota license plate that was registered to a 2009 Honda coupe.
Swee was arrested with a Honda key in his pocket and declined to speak to law enforcement. Officers found the Honda in Swee's garage with no front bumper.