A Minneapolis man who was arrested this summer by federal agents in Arizona in a murder more than a year ago was sentenced Monday to a 40-year prison term.
Dajohn Cortez Ramon Yarborough, 32, pleaded guilty last month to second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Darrell L. Sims II, 27, of Brooklyn Park, on April 2, 2022, outside a Minneapolis apartment.
On Monday, Sims' family and District Judge Paul Scoggin all spoke to the senseless violence of Yarborough killing a young, innocent father he did not know. The charges against Yarborough gave no motive for the shooting.
"This is another installment in the endless story that comes through this courtroom of people who cannot control their emotions, who get to have guns," Scoggin said, adding that "permanent scars" are left on the community and families of victims and defendants.
"I certainly feel the depth of the pain and anger and rage you have caused," Scoggin said.
Home surveillance video led investigators to Yarborough. According to charges against an accomplice, Brian Swearegene, the shooting was related to the death of an associate who had been killed by someone a couple of weeks earlier in the same area.
Sims' father, Darrell, asked Scoggin before he sentenced Yarborough to the maximum penalty allowed under law if he had watched the video of his son's murder. Scoggin said he had not.
"You should've seen their faces that night. No remorse for my son. They chased him down, shooting at him like he's a dog," Darrell Sims said. "The first shot went through ... his chest and they kept shooting 11 times. And for what? Because your friend got killed you're gonna kill anybody you see?"
With the plea deal, Yarborough agreed to the 40-year term. Swearegene, 35, is scheduled to be sentenced next month to up to 22 years after pleading guilty to murder in April.
Yarborough, when given the opportunity to speak in court, said he is remorseful and hopes the family can find peace.
"They lost a loved one and his life is gone, as well as mine," he said, adding that he knows he has to "pay my debt to society for taking a man's life," but by the time he is eligible for release, "I'm going to be an old man."
The judge ordered Yarborough to pay $8,500 in restitution from his prison wages. He closed the hearing by saying that he can never again possess a gun or ammunition.
Sims was shot in the chest shortly before 10 p.m. in the 2400 block of Elliot Avenue, according to the charges, and later died at HCMC.
Yarborough's defense attorney Bruce Rivers asked Scoggin to follow the plea agreement in his brief remarks. Rivers declined to comment further after the hearing.
Prison records show that Yarborough had skipped out at least six times while on supervised release for various offenses, most recently in January 2022 after a drug conviction.
In July, authorities in Navajo County in eastern Arizona identified Yarborough as a murder suspect during a traffic stop. He was turned over to the U.S. Marshals Service and brought back to Minnesota.
Kelvin Boddie, Sims' uncle, explained how the family all moved here from Michigan in 2012 "to make a better life." At a barbecue two weeks before the murder, Boddie said Sims was "letting me know about his job, how things was turning around for him, going in a good direction."
"This is a very, very sad situation for both parties — us as his family, and for the gentleman right here because he didn't know him, didn't know him at all," he said.