A man suspected of fatally shooting his former girlfriend in St. Paul in July now faces charges in another homicide, in south Minneapolis two months earlier, according to newly filed court documents.
Police say that Shakee Shabazz Miller-Brantley, 28, was charged Friday in the shooting death of Lawrence Dean Hart Jr. after confronting him near E. Lake Street and S. 12th Avenue on May 30. Hart was shot with a Ruger .22-caliber handgun — the same weapon, police say, that was used in the July 19 fatal shooting of Jessica Williams. A friend of the 27-year-old mother of three found her body in her home in the 500 block of Charles Avenue after she failed to pick up her infant from day care.
Miller-Brantley is in custody on charges stemming from Williams’ death, so the most recent murder charges were filed via warrant in Hennepin County District Court.
Detectives reviewed surveillance video from the Lake Street shooting, which they say showed Miller-Brantley pulling up to the scene in a two-toned charcoal gray Ford Explorer. Officers later learned the Explorer was registered to Williams, court filings said.
On the night of the shooting, police say Hart was walking down Lake Street when the Explorer drove up and Miller-Brantley hopped out of the front passenger seat in pursuit.
“Around this time, the victim is viewable on another camera moving around as if he is trying to evade defendant,” according to the criminal complaint.
The complaint said Miller-Brantley eventually caught up to Hart and the two men were walking side-by-side when the shooting happened. A camera showed Hart falling to the ground after the first gunshot was fired, and Miller-Brantley firing a second shot into the back of his head before bending down to rifle through his pockets, according to the complaint. Police say he left in the Explorer.
Ballistics testing later matched the shell casings found at that scene to those found at Williams’ house, police say.
A complaint filed in that case said that Miller-Brantley confessed to shooting Williams after she broke up with him and kicked him out of her home. He said he carried her body into the basement and placed a shirt over her face because he didn’t want to see her or want her kids to see her, the charges said. Miller-Brantley told police he fled in her car.
Miller-Brantley’s criminal record includes convictions for first-degree aggravated robbery, domestic assault, financial fraud, theft, fourth-degree assault on a police officer and disorderly conduct.
Miller-Brantley, who told police he heard voices and thought Williams was plotting to kill him, has a history of mental illness, with diagnoses of antisocial personality disorder and schizoaffective disorder, according to court filings. Prosecutors filed papers seeking to have him involuntarily committed as a “mentally ill and dangerous person.” A hearing on the matter is set for February.
“Psychotic episodes continued to occupy his thoughts with auditory hallucinations telling him to kill himself and others,” a court-appointed psychologist wrote in a pretrial report. “He has been unable to maintain a job due to psychotic symptoms. He’s been chronically homeless over the years due to aggressive behavior toward others in supportive living placements.”
Libor Jany • 612-673-4064 Twitter: @StribJany