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In 2019, when Minneapolis was still "safe," 39-year-old Steve Markey was killed in an attempted carjacking by two juveniles, Jered Ohsman (16) and Husayn Braveheart (15 and 357 days).

Steve was sitting in his car near Bauhaus Brew Labs and the Ideal Diner at about 4:45 in the afternoon on a Tuesday. The young men approached his parked car from behind with bandannas over their faces and shot Steve while he was still in the car.

While Steve, my cousin, sat there, scared and confused and bleeding to death, the two young men ran to a backpack of supplies they had hidden nearby. They changed their clothes and changed their weapons and then proceeded to carjack more people and lead police on a high-speed chase.

If you have ever arrived somewhere early and waited in your car, maybe returned an email or wrapped up a phone call, you were doing the exact same thing as Steve. You were just luckier than he was. The only thing he did wrong was to be in the path of these two.

The pandemic slowed the wheels of justice, but in 2020, Ohsman was tried as an adult and sentenced to 22 years in prison. He is expected to serve about 13.5 years in custody and the rest on supervised release.

The question of whether to certify Braveheart as an adult went to the Minnesota State Supreme Court. The answer was a resounding "Yes" from that esteemed body.

The medical examiner's report showed that bullets from two guns pierced Steve's body. Braveheart has admitted to purchasing the guns and planning this and other crimes he committed with his accomplice. Braveheart had a long criminal history with escalating violence. These are some of the reasons the Markey family was stunned to learn in August that Hennepin County Attorney Mary Moriarty and her office planned to offer Braveheart a plea deal that would have allowed him to plead guilty to second degree murder but serve no jail time.

Our family had been asked not to talk to the media while the case was pending. But we broke our silence to try and make Hennepin County safer by keeping someone dangerous off our streets. Those efforts seemed to pay off in October, when a wise, courageous and thoughtful judge denied that plea bargain.

Unfortunately, things actually got worse. Earlier this month, on the eve of the next hearing, after the close of business, our family was informed of a "defense counteroffer." At the hearing the next day, we heard in court the offer that the Hennepin County Attorney's Office had negotiated. Braveheart would plead guilty to attempted assault and be given the presumptive sentence.

Somehow, what had been murder was suddenly attempted assault. How is shooting someone attempted assault? Worse, the presumptive sentence is approximately the amount of time Braveheart had already been in custody since 2019. Since both sides agreed to the deal, the judge had no choice but to accept it. Braveheart is facing other charges, such as aggravated robbery, but assuming the Hennepin County Attorney's Office proceeds as it already has in this case, we expect those to be resolved with no additional time.

Moriarty released a statement regarding the Markey case that includes statements not supported by the facts. She states that Braveheart has been doing well in treatment. When denying the initial plea deal on Oct. 23, Judge Michael Burns specifically said the treatment records do not show Braveheart has done well there for the past four years. He also mentioned statements Braveheart made saying he hoped participating in treatment would get him a lighter sentence.

Moriarty also states that if Braveheart had gotten treatment sooner, this would not have happened. Braveheart had many documented treatment opportunities and was AWOL from one on the day he shot Steve.

The justice system is designed to have checks and balances. In Hennepin County, both sides are now supporting criminals. Moriarty's next tactic seems to be not charging criminals at all. Everyone in her office should be ashamed of themselves and everyone in our community should be afraid.

Kristin Derus Dore lives in Eden Prairie.