Two people were each handed sentences spanning more than 30 years for their roles in a violent rampage that left two people dead and others terrorized during a one-night crime spree across the Twin Cities that targeted Latinos.
Albert McIntosh, 32, of Minneapolis, was given a 38-year sentence and his girlfriend, 43-year-old Michelle Koester, received a 32-year term last week in Hennepin County District Court.
Jurors last month convicted both on counts including aiding and abetting first-degree robbery, aiding and abetting second-degree murder, aiding and abetting second-degree murder while committing a felony, aiding and abetting first-degree burglary and aiding and abetting first-degree burglary committed with a weapon.
At sentencing, five victim-impact statements were read by an official from the county attorney's office on behalf of the family of 42-year-old Julio Mozo-Cuate, who was robbed and murdered on Oct. 18, 2015, while in his car behind his Minneapolis home.
Testimony from co-defendant Isiah Harper identified McIntosh as the shooter. Another co-defendant, Shannon Haiden, told authorities that McIntosh bragged the next day of killing someone and laughing about it.
A statement from one of Mozo-Cuate's daughters said, "One day, everyone was happy and then suddenly he was gone forever. He can't see everything good I have done, from dancing to getting my first job."
The rampage started as a grab for some quick cash and credit cards. Five hours later, two people were killed, a man robbed at gunpoint on the street and members of a family made to plead for their lives during a home invasion.
In closing arguments, Assistant County Attorney Therese Galatowitsch said the defendants "were targeting people in the Hispanic community."
Authorities say the first victim was Sarah Wierstad, a 24-year-old mother who interrupted a burglary at her St. Paul apartment just before 8 p.m. She was fatally shot. McIntosh was the accused shooter but was acquitted of those charges at his trial in Ramsey County.
Shortly after 9 p.m., the group robbed a man at gunpoint behind his Minneapolis apartment building. Another house was burglarized about 9:30 p.m. in Minneapolis.
Mozo-Cuate became the next homicide victim at 10 p.m. He was robbed, shot and left for dead in an alley in the 3700 block of 1st Avenue S.
The group then decided to invade a home in south Minneapolis, terrifying a couple and their four children, who were ordered to the floor.
McIntosh and Koester were each given credit at sentencing for more than 500 days in jail since being arrested. That means McIntosh will serve roughly 25 years in prison and the balance of his sentence on supervised release. Koester will spend more than 20 years in prison and the remainder on supervised release.
The other accomplices have pleaded guilty and await sentencing. They are 26-year-old Alvin Bell of Hopkins; Harper, 27, of Bayport, and Haiden, 47, of Minneapolis.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482