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A Minneapolis man serving life without parole for his role as a teenager in the grisly double-murder of a mother and son was resentenced Friday, paving the way for his possible release.

Brian Lee Flowers, now 32, and his friend Stafon Thompson were convicted of the murders in 2008 of Katricia Daniels, 35, and her 10-year-old son, Robert Shepard, in their duplex in Minneapolis' Kingfield neighborhood.

The slayings were gruesome: Daniels was stabbed more than 190 times, and her son was bludgeoned with a television.

Flowers, then 16, played a lesser role than Thompson, who was 17, according to defense attorneys and the Minnesota Supreme Court. While Thompson was covered in blood and had cuts on his hands, Flowers had one drop of blood on his shoes.

His legal team fought for resentencing over a decade as a series of state and federal laws regarding the prosecution of youth changed.

A parole hearing will be held this summer after Hennepin County District Judge William Koch resentenced Flowers to concurrent life sentences instead of consecutive life sentences.

Robert Shepard, 10, and his mother, Katricia Daniels
Robert Shepard, 10, and his mother, Katricia Daniels

Rhonda Prast — Handout, Star Tribune

After Koch ordered the resentencing, Flowers' attorneys Perry Moriearty and Brad Colbert said in a statement on behalf of their client:

"It is impossible to overstate the gravity of the trauma, grief, and loss caused by the murders of Katricia Daniels and Robert Shephard. Brian takes full responsibility for and deeply regrets his role in the events of that night.

"Brian was 16 years old at the time of the murders. He is grateful that both the State and the Court have recognized his youth and — as did the Minnesota Supreme Court — his lesser culpability in these events.

"Brian has now been incarcerated for almost 16 years, and he is not the same person he was in 2008. He knows that there is nothing he can say or do to change what happened, but Brian will spend the rest of his life trying to make amends. He is so deeply sorry."

Moriearty is a University of Minnesota Law School professor, and Colbert is a professor at Mitchell-Hamline School of Law.

Robert Shepard, 10, and his mother, Katricia Daniels
Robert Shepard, 10, and his mother, Katricia Daniels

Rhonda Prast — Handout, Star Tribune

In 2012, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that mandatory life sentences for juveniles without parole are unconstitutional.

Flowers became eligible for resentencing, and his case returned to Hennepin County District Court in 2015. Koch resentenced him to concurrent sentences in 2017, but prosecutors appealed the decision. In 2018, the state Supreme Court reversed the concurrent sentences and sent the case back to Koch to determine whether concurrent or consecutive life sentences should be imposed.

Both parties agreed to concurrent sentences with the possibility of release, despite objections from surviving family members of the victims, according to court records.

Last year, more than a decade after the U.S. Supreme Court decision, Minnesota became the 28th state to abolish juvenile life without parole. The change offers most prisoners serving sentences of 15 years or more for juvenile offenses the chance to appear before a review board, which would determine whether they could safely be released.

Flowers has already served more than 15 years. His resentencing in 2017 would have made him eligible for parole in 2038, but under the new state law and with Koch's ruling Friday, the board could hear his case this summer.

The review board could consider the cases of Flowers and about 40 other inmates when it begins operations in July. The state Department of Corrections schedules the hearings, said Ramsey County Attorney's Office spokesman Dennis Gerhardstein.

Board members will consider reports on community sentiment, views of the victims' family and input from a mental health professional.

Ramsey County handled Flowers' case after it was transferred there because of a conflict of interest with Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty. Before running for office in 2022, Moriarty was a public defender who counseled Flowers on his resentencing.

"She believed in my innocence because she worked on my case," Flowers said of Moriarty in one jail call log.

Ramsey County Attorney John Choi said in a statement that he will oppose parole for Flowers until at least 2028. He said he also will oppose concurrent sentences for Thompson.

Choi said his office was not involved with the "protracted and contentious litigation that this case generated," so it could independently evaluate Flowers' culpability.

"From our perspective, it is significant that, on appeal, the Minnesota Supreme Court determined in 2010 that Mr. Flowers' role in this case was far less than his co-defendant," Choi said. "We came to the same conclusion after reviewing this case for the past ten months."