A Brooklyn Park man has pleaded guilty to driving on a revoked license and hiding drugs under his floor mat when he killed a father of four in a multivehicle pileup in north Minneapolis while fleeing police.
Trevon X.M. McMorris, 27, entered his plea Monday in Hennepin County District Court to causing death while fleeing police in connection with the May 1 crash that left Jose Angel Madrid Salcido pinned and dying in his crumpled car.
A search of McMorris' SUV turned up several bags of suspected cocaine, a loaded semi-automatic pistol, marijuana and a small scale. He also had a large amount of cash in his pockets.
McMorris' criminal history in Minnesota includes at least 10 convictions for driving with a suspended or revoked license, another 10 for driving without insurance or lacking proof of insurance, five for speeding, three for drug possession and one for disorderly conduct.
The plea deal, reached as jury selection was about to start, calls for McMorris to receive a 15-year term when he is sentenced before Judge Kathryn Quaintance on Monday. With credit for time in jail since his arrest, McMorris would serve the first 9 ¾ years in prison and the balance on supervised release.
About a month before the crash, McMorris was convicted after pleading guilty to fleeing Brooklyn Park police in November 2018. Police had stopped him for speeding, only to see him race away and elude capture once the pursuit was canceled out of concern for the safety of others.
Judge Jay Quam allowed McMorris to avoid jail time in that case because Quam believed McMorris seemed "particularly amenable to probation," appeared remorseful and took responsibility for his actions, records show. The requirements of his supervised probation included 80 hours on a work crew and that he remain law-abiding, not possess firearms and complete a driver's education program.
Shortly before the crash, police responded about 6:20 p.m. to a call about three suspicious vehicles in the 3300 block of N. Aldrich Avenue. The officers had reason to believe the vehicles' occupants were involved in a drug deal. They approached McMorris' SUV, noticed a strong odor of marijuana, and saw that McMorris had glassy and bloodshot eyes.
As the officers ran background checks on all of the drivers, McMorris sped away. Seconds later, he crashed into Salcido's car heading west on N. 36th Avenue, then plowed into several parked cars. Salcido was rushed by ambulance to North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale, where he died about an hour later.
His wife, Martha Perea, said Salcido worked remodeling homes and commercial buildings and was the family's sole means of support.
Perea was driving her 11-year-old daughter home from karate class that night. Not knowing of her husband's fate, she called to warn him that a multicar pileup was blocking traffic in their neighborhood.