Nizzel George's killer pleads guiltyby Jon Collins, Minnesota Public Radio
ST. PAUL, Minn. — A teenager pleaded guilty Friday in the shooting death of 5-year-old Nizzel George last summer in Minneapolis. George was struck and killed by a bullet fired from outside his grandmother's house, as he was sleeping on her couch.
Stephon Shannon, 17, pleaded guilty to second-degree intentional murder on Friday, according to the office of the Hennepin County Attorney.
David Brown, chief criminal deputy of Hennepin County, said the shooting in which George was killed appeared to be in retaliation for another shooting a few days before. He said Shannon and another person involved didn't intend to hurt or kill Nizzel George.
"Mr. Shannon, when he put in his guilty plea, said he and the other person he was with were shooting into the house, they weren't shooting at a particular person, they didn't intend to hit, obviously, five-year-old Nizzel George," Brown said. "But they thought one of these rival gang members was in the house."
Shannon also admitted Friday that the shooting was committed for the benefit of a gang, which carries an additional sentence of two years.
Shannon, who will be sentenced on Feb. 5, faces 28 years in prison.
A 15-year-old defendant in the case was previously certified to stand trial as an adult. Brown said that ruling is being appealed.
Brown said the plea result, "Came as the result of an enormous amount of hard work by the Minneapolis Police Department and our two prosecutors on the case, so very grateful to both the police department and our prosecutors for doing an outstanding job."