Two men guilty of all Minneapolis real estate agent kidnapping and murder counts
A Hennepin County jury convicted two men of kidnapping a realtor from a bogus house in 2019 and shooting her down in a Minneapolis alley.
Cedric Berry and Berry Davis, both 42, were tried in Hennepin County District Court on identical charges – aiding and abetting first degree premeditated murder, aiding and abetting first degree premeditated murder attempt , complicity in kidnapping and complicity of first degree. murder degree felony while committing kidnapping. The jury returned its verdict shortly after 5 p.m. Friday.
In closing arguments on Friday, prosecutors said the men were part of a sprawling ploy to reach out to Baugh’s boyfriend, Jon Mitchell-Momoh, who was having a feud with former associate and known drug dealer Lyndon Wiggins. Mitchell-Momoh was shot three times – twice in the chest and once in the groin – after Baugh was kidnapped from a Maple Grove home on December 31, 2019.
“They kept her for three terrifying hours while they went to shoot three bullets at her partner in front of their children, and they drove her down a dark alley in northern Minneapolis in a U-Haulâ¦ and executed her. “the Hennepin County aide said. Lawyer Paige Starkey.
Defense teams told jurors in oral argument that prosecutors pieced together an incomplete file under pressure from the attention Baugh’s murder had received from the community and local and national press. One of Berry’s attorneys, Tanya Bishop, said no witnesses had identified her client at any of the crime scenes and that police and prosecutors had not thoroughly investigated other leads and suspects.
The day Baugh was killed, Berry spent his time dealing drugs, Bishop said, adding that he was being used “in an elaborate ploy as a dabbler while doing regular things he thought he was doing. be part of a drug deal and nothing more. did what he usually did for drugs, drug dealing – renting vehicles, buying cell phones, changing his number … Cedric Berry is sitting here innocent…”
Starkey told jurors that Berry was “most likely the shooter” and that three shots entered Baugh’s brain, heart and spine.
Berry and Davis are the first of five indicted suspects to stand trial. Wiggins and his girlfriend, Elsa Segura, a former Hennepin County probation officer, are awaiting trial on the same charges against Berry and Davis.
Berry’s wife Shante Davis is awaiting trial for helping an offender. She is also the sister of Berry Davis.
Berry said Thursday that he, Berry Davis and Wiggins all worked together to sell drugs.
Mitchell-Momoh said last week that he left Wiggins’ music label in 2019 and Wiggins later accused him of stealing music. Starkey told jurors on Friday that in the fall or winter of that year, Wiggins was arrested and told Segura he believed Mitchell-Momoh had “reported” him to authorities.
Wiggins pleaded guilty last May in federal court to possession and intent to distribute 33,140 imitation oxycodone pills containing fentanyl. He accepted a prison sentence of at least 15 years and up to life in prison. It is not known if the case relates to Wiggins’ alleged complaint against Mitchell-Momoh.
In November 2019, Berry’s apartment was searched and he was arrested in connection with a drug investigation; he was released from prison without being charged, Starkey said.
According to Starkey: On December 29, 2019, Berry bought a cell phone and registered it under a false name. That same day, Berry, Davis, and Wiggins all drove to Segura’s and then to a mall where Davis purchased âmurder suppliesâ that included cleaning solutions, two-way radios and a tent. Segura allegedly used the phone Berry bought to lure Baugh into the bogus home exposure.
Cellphone data showed Berry and Davis toured the Maple Grove home for 36 minutes on December 30 – the first date Segura would have installed Baugh, Starkey said. Another real estate agent had also arrived to show the same house and stayed at the address longer than Baugh.
It is not known whether the Dec. 30 incident was a thwarted trial or kidnapping, Starkey said.
Surveillance video showed Berry and Davis kidnapping Baugh in a U-Haul truck on December 31, Starkey said.
Berry said Thursday he spent the day dealing drugs and got himself a U-Haul that he briefly used to move personal effects and then left him alone because that Wiggins needed it to transport marijuana.
Starkey told jurors that Berry’s testimony was “muddled nonsense and weak denial,” and that six of his fingerprints were found on the duct tape wrapped around Baugh’s wrists and around his neck and that his DNA was also found on ties found in the U-Haul. .
Davis’ DNA was found on the U-Haul’s gearshift, Starkey said.
One of Davis’ attorneys, Matt Jamet, told jurors prosecutors based their case on circumstantial evidence and the cell phone data did not necessarily match a particular person, as Berry was known to use multiple phones and several people had access to them.
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