After rejecting a similar offer in October, a Hennepin County judge accepted a plea deal Thursday that will allow a co-defendant in a deadly northeast Minneapolis carjacking to elude prison time — a decision met by disbelief and outrage by the murdered man's family.

Steven Markey, a 39-year-old paralegal from Plymouth, was gunned down by two teens in June 2019. One of the teens was sentenced to 21 years in prison. Meanwhile, Husayn Braveheart's case has been painfully pending for Markey's family.

The case came to an abrupt conclusion Thursday. Initially scheduled as a routine hearing, it quickly shifted to a plea, then straight to sentencing. Prosecutors amended charges from aiding second-degree murder to first-degree attempted assault. Braveheart pleaded guilty to assault. His negotiated sentence of 4 years is complete with time served.

As she listened to public defenders read over the plea terms, Markey's mother, Catherine Markey, took off her glasses and her face trembled as she cried.

"He did not assault Steve," she said to the judge. "He killed him."

In a rare move six weeks ago, District Judge Michael Burns rejected a five-year probation plea deal for Braveheart. If he violated terms of probation, the court could have imposed the same sentence as Jered Ohsman. Prosecutors say Ohsman fired the shot that killed Markey.

But with the amended charges of first-degree attempted assault, Burns said his judicial discretion does not extend to reject a sentence that conforms to guidelines.

Burns did express his unease with the deal, though.

"I have great concerns whether the system is doing you a service or disservice," Burns said to Braveheart, adding that he is unsure if this is "going to lead to more harm to you or someone else."

To the Markeys, Burns said that he is sorry for their loss. "Frankly, I am also sorry for the way you have been treated during part of this process as well."

The family said that Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty's Office repeatedly violated crime victim rights by not giving them timely notice of plea-deal offers. They first learned of the new plea deal in court Thursday.

When Deputy County Attorney Sarah Davis announced the amended charge of attempted assault, the family burst into incredulous laughter.

Hennepin County Attorney spokesperson Nicholas Kimball said the family refused to meet with staff to hear about the offer.

"Staff attempted multiple times to discuss it with them, beginning as soon as they heard the defense would be making an offer," Kimball said.

Susan Markey, the victim's sister and an attorney, countered that there was no "meaningful form of notice." The office reached out to them at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday, and emailed an hour later, then attempted to tell them a half an hour before Thursday's hearing.

"They didn't say what the content of the plea agreement would be because they didn't want us to know in advance," she said.

Moriarty said in a statement that some will agree and others will disagree whether this is a fair and just result.

"Mr. Braveheart, a juvenile when he committed this terrible crime, has made enormous strides and been responsive to treatment during the past five years of his incarceration.

"That treatment might have prevented this crime in the first place had he received it, and we believe the treatment will prevent a future crime if it continues, which this sentence allows. As always, our heart goes out to the Markey family, who suffered a terrible tragedy."

On the day of the crime, Braveheart and co-defendant Ohsman drew semiautomatic pistols at Markey near the intersection of 14th Avenue and Tyler Street NE., charges say. Braveheart was 15 and Ohsman was 17.

Ohsman ordered Markey out of the vehicle and shot him. Braveheart fired at the vehicle as a bleeding Markey drove off. The teens fled and were arrested after crashing a stolen SUV.

Brian Markey said numerous bullets were found in his brother's body.

"This is death of a thousand paper cuts. Which paper cut did it? Apparently we have decided that it is acceptable to commit the ultimate act with impunity and immunity ... We are all ashamed. We feel sorry for Mr. Braveheart, we do.

"It's not good enough and it's embarrassing," he said. "This was no attempted assault."

When Burns rejected the first plea deal, he said that he didn't find Braveheart particularly amenable to probation, as attorneys on both sides had argued throughout a three-hour court hearing. He said records showed Braveheart's treatment was "punctuated by outbursts, disrespect to staff and other residents, episodes of physical violence and harassment to staff and other residents," he said.

The family said it was brave of Burns to reject the deal. But his hands were tied this time.

Susan Markey said at a news conference this was "a political decision by Mary Moriarty."

"[S]he amended the charges so that the judge would not give a sentence beyond what's available for attempted assault. What it is, it's an end run around the legislative system and the sentencing guidelines. We're very disappointed."

Braveheart remains held on $250,000 bail and appears in court Monday for two pending armed-robbery cases. He and Ohsman are accused in those cases of robbing victims of their cars and money in the days leading up to Markey's murder.

If he posts bail, he could be released as early as Monday.

Braveheart hung his head throughout the hearing and briefly addressed the court before Burns sentenced him to time-served.

"Tomorrow is uncertain. But I'm here today," he said. "To the Markey family, I'm telling you my feelings do not change no matter what. I'm sorry. I wish there was a word I could find to express my emotions. But I am sorry. That is all."