Authorities have arrested a suspect who had been on the run since January after being charged in a Minneapolis murder-for-hire plot resulting in the death of a mother and real estate agent, a police spokesman confirmed Thursday.
Five months after Monique Baugh was killed, authorities arrested Berry Davis, who had been a fugitive since slipping out of a St. Louis Park hotel as police were closing in in January. Police spokesman John Elder said that Davis was arrested in Illinois by another agency, but the circumstances of the arrest weren’t immediately known. Elder called the arrest “the product of strong and dogged investigative work.”
“Secondly, make no doubt about it, leaving Minnesota does not mean you are out of our reach,” Elder said, emphasizing the department’s relationship with federal law enforcement. “We will get you wherever you go. This arrest shows that clearly.”
Davis and another alleged co-conspirator, Cedric Berry, have been indicted on first-degree murder charges for their role in Baugh’s kidnapping and killing on New Year’s Eve.
Online records for the Cook County (Ill.) jail show that a man under the name Berry Davis was booked May 1 and is being held without bond.
Baugh’s slaying gained widespread publicity for its brutality and twists and turns outlined in court filings.
At one point, the FBI got involved in the investigation, loaning a member of its Cellular Analysis Survey Team to help investigators sift through cellphone records for clues.
Prosecutors allege that Baugh was kidnapped from a home in Maple Grove, dragged into a waiting U-Haul truck and possibly tortured. Her body was later dumped in a north Minneapolis alley.
Search warrant affidavits and criminal complaints filed in the case paint a complicated plot revolving around a dispute over a record deal between Baugh’s boyfriend and a fellow rapper. Police have said that at least eight people, in varying roles, were involved, coordinating their actions by cellphone and walkie-talkie.
The suspected triggerman is in federal custody on an unrelated charge, but so far no public charges have been filed against him in the Baugh case.
Police believe that Baugh’s boyfriend, Jon Mitchell-Momoh, was the intended victim of the alleged plot. Less than an hour before Baugh’s death, a masked gunman, believed to be Berry, walked into the couple’s North Side home and shot Mitchell-Momoh, while the couple’s young children were nearby, court records show.
Mitchell-Momoh, who survived the shooting, told detectives he believed that he was targeted either because he had been flaunting “a lot of money” on his social media accounts or that people suspected him of cooperating with police, according to court filings. Investigators learned that Mitchell-Momoh had a falling-out with a former friend over a record deal signing, and that man may have ordered the hit on Mitchell-Momoh’s life, the warrant said.
The friend-turned-rival, a rapper signed to a recording label in Chicago who is identified only by his initials in court filings, has not been publicly charged.
His status was not known Thursday.
Prosecutors previously charged Shante Davis of Minneapolis with being an accomplice after the fact. Cellphone records and video surveillance placed Davis — wife of Cedric Berry and sister of Berry “Big” Davis — with the two suspects when they picked up a rental truck the day before Baugh’s slaying.
Court records show that all three had been under court-authorized surveillance by members of a local drug task force in the weeks before the killing.
Another alleged player in the plot is Elsa Segura, a former county probation officer, who police believe helped lure Baugh to a phony home showing in Maple Grove, where she was kidnapped.
Segura remains in jail on $1 million bail, while Shante Davis has been transferred to another facility, jail records show. Cedric Berry is being held in lieu of $2 million bail, with his next court appearance set for Aug. 31. He has pleaded not guilty.