Jurors have convicted a 20-year-old man of first-degree murder for chasing down a victim in a north Minneapolis alley and shooting him in the head.
The guilty verdict on that count means Xavier D. Gilleylen, of Minneapolis, will receive a life prison sentence with no possibility of parole when he's back in court on Dec. 6 before Hennepin County District Judge Daniel Moreno. The jury also convicted him on the second-degree murder count.
Defense attorney Brian Karalus said Gilleylen was offered a chance shortly before the trial to plead guilty to second-degree murder and avoid a lifetime sentence, "but he decided to roll the dice."
First-degree murder convictions receive an automatic appeal to the state Supreme Court, and Karalus said "there will be some really good appellate issues."
The gunfire in the 4600 block of N. Lyndale Avenue occurred on Nov. 9, 2019, and killed 32-year-old Dionte M. Hubbard, of Minneapolis.
Witness accounts and video surveillance revealed that a Honda sedan was chasing a Chevy Impala late in the afternoon, and they soon crashed at the intersection of N. 47th and Lyndale avenues, according to police.
Gilleylen and two others with him got out of the Honda and chased Hubbard before Gilleylen shot him in the head, police said.
One of Gilleylen's accomplices, Dayton C. Robinson, 22, of Minneapolis, has pleaded guilty to aiding an offender after the fact.
His plea agreement calls for him to receive a five-year term when he is sentenced on Wednesday. It also required that he cooperate with prosecutors in the case against Gilleylen. Robinson testified during Gilleylen's trial.
No motive was spelled out in the charges against either defendant nor during Gilleylen's trial, according to the County Attorney's Office and Karalus.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482