A 24-year-old man has pleaded guilty to murder in the death of a well-known dancer who was ambushed and sucker-punched during a robbery by three suspects along Hennepin Avenue in downtown Minneapolis in 2013.
Adrian Hernandez, 44, of Minneapolis, who performed Mexican folk dances, founded a troupe called Mexico Lindo and was well-known in the Latino community, died from a brain injury three days after the attack on Aug. 22, 2013.
Andrew M. Myers, formerly of St. Louis Park, pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree murder, said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. Accomplice Vereice D. Washington, 22, of Brooklyn Center, pleaded guilty in December to the same charge. Both men are scheduled to be sentenced in the fall.
The man suspected of landing the fatal blow remains at large, the county attorney's office said Thursday. Authorities say that suspect goes by "Big Loc."
According to the charges against Myers and Washington:
Washington first saw an intoxicated Hernandez close to Augie's bar on Hennepin near 4th Street about 2:30 a.m. Washington asked to borrow Hernandez's cellphone, but Hernandez refused. Police routinely caution bar and restaurant patrons to not increase the chances of being a crime victim by leaving establishments alone late at night, particularly in an intoxicated state.
Washington kept walking along Hennepin with Hernandez and was soon joined by Myers and another man. As they walked south, the trio plotted to rob Hernandez.
When they reached the corner of Hennepin and 10th Street, Myers moved to the right side of Hernandez, who turned toward Myers. Then the other man sucker-punched Hernandez in the face. Hernandez fell, striking his head on the concrete. Washington rifled the pockets of the unconscious and bleeding Hernandez, stole his cellphone and all three men ran away.
Hospital staff told investigators soon after the assault that Hernandez was bleeding from the nose and mouth, suffered multiple skull fractures and cranial bleeding, according to police records.