A second man has been charged in the New Year's Day killing of Carl Dobbs Jr., who was shot in his car outside Johnny Baby's in St. Paul just minutes after bar close.
Zollie S. Brown, 42, of Minneapolis was charged Monday in Ramsey County District Court with second-degree murder and felony aiding an offender for allegedly driving the getaway vehicle. He remains jailed in lieu of $500,000 bail.
Earlier this month, authorities charged the suspected gunman, Trayvon T. Anderson, with second-degree murder in Dobbs' death.
According to the criminal complaint:
A St. Paul police officer on routine patrol near Johnny Baby's bar on the 900 block of W. University Avenue heard something strike a metal fence in the parking lot just after 2 a.m. He was quickly flagged down by several good Samaritans in the lot who were attempting to aid the driver of a Dodge Charger that had slammed into the wrought-iron fence surrounding the bar and adjacent shopping mall. Nearly a dozen shell casings lay scattered in the snow.
Smoke wafted from the bullet-riddled vehicle and the engine continued revving as the driver's foot remained on the gas. The officer put the vehicle in park and summoned paramedics to tend to the victim, who suffered from three visible gunshot wounds to his neck and torso. The man, later identified as Dobbs, died at the scene.
Surveillance footage from the bar helped investigators piece together the last hour of his life.
Dobbs arrived at the bar for its advertised New Year's Eve bash just before 1 a.m. Around the same time, Anderson and Brown pulled into the lot in a black Chevrolet Impala and removed their jackets before heading inside. Anderson later exchanged words with Dobbs at the bar, but appeared to back away without altercation. Anderson and Brown soon retreated to their vehicle.
The pair waited about 25 minutes for Dobbs to leave. Parked cars prevented them from driving toward Dobbs, so Anderson exited the vehicle in his heavy jacket while Brown got in the driver's seat.
Security footage captures Anderson approaching Dobbs' Charger on foot, pulling a firearm and firing several rounds — continuing to follow the vehicle until it crashed, charges say. Then Anderson calmly walked back to his Impala and got in the back seat as Brown sped away.
During a police interview, Anderson initially denied being at the bar that evening or letting anyone else drive his car. When presented with surveillance footage of himself, he admitted "that's me," but failed to say why he was there, according to the complaint.
Brown was arrested a week later. He told authorities that Anderson, who is his relative, got in a verbal altercation with Dobbs inside the bar "over a couple of women," the complaint says. Brown grabbed Anderson and calmed him, saying it wasn't "a good way to start the new year."
As they left, Anderson was still angry and punched his steering wheel, indicating he wanted to fight Dobbs.
Brown said that he fell asleep as they waited for their friends to come outside and was unaware Anderson had a gun, charges state. He denied that Anderson instructed him to switch to the driver's seat before opening fire.
Liz Sawyer • 612-673-4648