HomeTop StoriesErick Haynes sentenced to life in prison for the death of Zaria...

Erick Haynes sentenced to life in prison for the death of Zaria McKeever

BROOKLYN PARK, Minn. Eric Hayneswho orchestrated the 2022 murder of 23-year-old Zaria McKeever, the mother of his 1-year-old child, was sentenced Friday to life in prison.

He entered a plea of ​​guilty which was accepted by the judge at sentencing. After thirty years he has a chance of parole.

Haynes brought a gun to McKeever’s Brooklyn Park apartment on November 8, 2022, and ordered two teenage brothers to kill her new boyfriend, as well as McKeever himself if she got in the way. The teens kicked in the apartment door, and as McKeever’s new boyfriend jumped out the window, she was shot dead, the documents state.

Two other adults – 24-year-old Eriana Haynes and 24-year-old Tavion James – pleaded guilty to charges related to aiding and abetting the murder.

The two minors charged in the case including 17-year-old Foday Kamara, took plea deals out of court. Kamara will be sentenced in May.

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Zaria McKeever

WCCO


One by one, loved ones spoke through tears Friday before the man who orchestrated the murder of a young mother learned he would spend the rest of his life in prison.

“On November 8, 2022, our lives changed forever,” said McKeever’s stepfather Paul Greer. “Our Zaria was brutally and violently taken from us.”

“Any amount of time is not enough time,” said McKeever’s mother, Maria Greer.

The man who took Maria Greer’s daughter had the following message: “I just want to say sorry to Miss McKeever’s family,” Erick Haynes said.

But after court, McKeever’s mother said Haynes owes the family much more than that.

“I thought it was a cowardly thing to do. You give me more than ‘I’m sorry for the family’, you give me more than those words. You owed us more than those words,” Maria Greer said.

The tragic case sparked controversy. The family protested what they saw as lenient pleas against the teens in the case, and in a rare move, Governor Tim Walz turned the case over to Attorney General Keith Ellison.

With this final chapter closed, the family hopes that real healing can begin, with the focus now on the 1-year-old girl left behind.

“I want her to know she is loved, she has a whole family surrounded by love,” Paul Greer said.

Kamara was originally offered a plea deal by the Hennepin County Prosecutor’s Office, led by Mary Moriarty, which would have spared him jail time. Moriarty said she wanted Kamara and his brother to undergo rehabilitation while she focused on getting Haynes the longest prison sentence possible.

The move infuriated McKeever’s familyand for the first time in thirty years Gov. Tim Walz intervened and referred the case to Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison’s office without Moriarty’s consent.

“The facts are so far outside what is expected, what community norms are, that anyone who is a victim of a premeditated murder, there can be no minimum institution for the people who did it, and that’s why we’re involved. ” Ellison told WCCO’s Esme Murphy in April 2023.

Moriarty called the move “undemocratic” and the Minnesota Chapter of the National Lawyers Guild criticized the governor’s move as “based on political opportunism.”

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