A Minneapolis man was convicted Monday of killing a 69-year-old homeowner who opened his door to help him.
Devon Parker, 22, knocked on the back door of a north Minneapolis home in the late morning of Jan. 31, 2014, and told 69-year-old Thomas Sonnenberg that someone was chasing him. The retired technician let Parker into his home, locked the door and called 911. But before police arrived, Parker took Sonnenberg’s handgun and shot the good Samaritan in the head.
A Hennepin County District jury deliberated Friday and reached its verdict on Monday, convicting Parker of intentional second-degree murder. He’s expected to be sentenced June 4.
“All citizens should feel safe in their homes, and that was not the case for Thomas Sonnenberg,” said Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman. “As a result, we will be asking the judge for a greater sentence than the Minnesota sentencing guidelines normally set forth.”
On the day he shot Sonnenberg, Parker was supposed to be sentenced to nearly three years in prison for a previous assault on police officers. It was the latest in a string of other violent offenses, including a 2011 conviction for third-degree assault. On July 9, 2011, about 3 a.m., he was in downtown Minneapolis when he tripped a man who had just had his cellphone stolen, then jumped on the man and punched him in the face, breaking bones near the man’s eyes.
He also was convicted in 2012 on a charge of crime against transit operation when he boarded a bus without paying. When the bus driver confronted him, Parker punched him, breaking the driver’s eyeglasses, and then got off the bus. He then pulled out a gun and shot once, hitting the bus.
Mary Lynn Smith