Husayn Braveheart, the accomplice in a controversial murder case, is set to be sentenced on Monday afternoon in Hennepin County District Court. The case has been pending for over four years. Braveheart was accused, at the age of 15, of participating in a deadly carjacking in northeast Minneapolis in 2019, resulting in the death of Steven Markey, a 39-year-old paralegal from Plymouth.
Braveheart’s co-defendant pleaded guilty in 2020 and received a 21-year prison sentence. However, Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty agreed to a plea negotiation for Braveheart, now 20, which would allow him to avoid prison. This decision has sparked outrage from Markey’s family, who have filed complaints with the state.
Moriarty’s office cited the science of adolescent brain development and Braveheart’s positive response to treatment as reasons for the plea negotiation. District Judge Michael Burns will announce whether he accepts the plea during Braveheart’s sentencing hearing at 1:30 p.m.
Markey’s family and supporters have actively campaigned against the plea deal, holding press conferences, organizing rallies, and circulating an online petition. They argue that the negotiated outcome lacks accountability for Braveheart and have urged Judge Burns to reject the plea.
Senator Warren Limmer has also joined the family in calling for the rejection of the plea, stating that the lenient sentence does not match the severity of the crime.
In the carjacking incident, Braveheart and Ohsman, who was 17 at the time, brandished semiautomatic pistols at Markey. Ohsman claimed he shot Markey after perceiving a threat, while Braveheart fired at the vehicle as Markey drove away. The teens were apprehended after crashing a stolen SUV in St. Louis Park.
Moriarty is seeking to spare Braveheart a lengthy prison sentence and instead proposes up to one year in the county workhouse with five years of probation. If Braveheart violates the terms of probation, he could face the same 21-year prison sentence as his co-defendant.
Markey’s family has raised concerns about a potential conflict of interest, as Moriarty previously served as the chief public defender in Hennepin County when Braveheart was charged. They have called for the intervention of Attorney General Keith Ellison and Governor Tim Walz, but both officials declined to get involved.
The case involving Braveheart and Ohsman was initially in juvenile court but was eventually moved to adult court after a ruling by the Minnesota Supreme Court. The court noted Braveheart’s prior delinquency cases and his lack of successful completion of treatment programs.
Prosecutors support the plea negotiation, highlighting Braveheart’s positive progress and his amenability to probation. However, Markey’s family remains shocked and disappointed by the proposed agreement.
The sentencing hearing will determine whether Braveheart’s plea negotiation is accepted or rejected. Judge Burns will announce the outcome.