A Minneapolis man was sentenced to more than 36 years in prison Wednesday for a robbery-turned-fatal shooting, while his accomplice and girlfriend received 15 years for her involvement in the slaying.
Quintel Flowers, 26, received the second-degree murder sentence for the killing of Larry Flowers III, 26, who is of no relation. Quintel Flowers’ girlfriend, Nicole Rantala, was sentenced the same day for aiding him in the crime, according to the Hennepin County attorney’s office.
A jury was half-picked for Quintel Flowers’ first-degree murder trial — for which he faced a sentence of life without parole if convicted — when he agreed to plead guilty to second-degree murder and felon in possession of a firearm in exchange for the sentence.
Rantala, 32, of Minneapolis was originally charged with two counts of aiding and abetting first-degree murder, but agreed to plead guilty to aiding and abetting second-degree murder and to testify against Quintel Flowers.
Charges say Quintel Flowers was angry because he thought Larry Flowers had shorted him in a marijuana deal the week before and told Rantala that he planned to rob him. O the morning of Nov. 17, 2016, they picked up Larry Flowers and were near Bryant Avenue N. and W. Broadway in north Minneapolis when Quintel Flowers pulled out a gun. The two men struggled and both got out of the car as Larry Flowers ran away. Quintel Flowers fired five shots, with three of them striking Larry Flowers, killing him almost instantly. Rantala drove them from the scene and said she watched her boyfriend throw the gun in the river. Police later found it in the trunk of a car.
At the sentencing, Larry Flowers’ aunt, Pearlene Woodrick, read a statement saying her nephew moved from Chicago to Minnesota to better himself and studied to receive a certification in carpentry.
“They say the plan was to rob Larry of his drugs and money because he had shorted the defendant the previous week,” Woodrick said. “Really? Did he have to lose his life because of it? OK, he wasn’t an angel just like none of us are. But, he was someone’s son, somebody’s brother, a nephew, an uncle, a grandson, a cousin.”
Larry Flowers’ fiancée, Clarrissa Arnold, read a statement at Quintel Flowers’ sentencing, but saved vitriol for Rantala, calling her “wicked.”
“Justice won’t be distributed fairly because you killed him. You should get more than 10 years,” Arnold said, referring to the two-thirds of her time that she will serve in prison. “She don’t feel no regret. You don’t feel sorry you took someone’s son. I never get to kiss or hug him again. You still get a chance at life. Larry Flowers don’t get that.”