A Minneapolis woman has pleaded guilty to helping her son after the teenager fatally shot his mother's close friend in a Bloomington hotel room last summer.
Trimeanna Williams, 39, admitted in Hennepin County District Court to one count of aiding an offender after the fact Thursday in connection with the shooting death of 39-year-old Jennifer Swaggert of Minneapolis.
The plea deal calls for Williams to receive a term of nearly 6¼ years, with the first 3½ or so years in prison and the balance on supervised release. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 5.
Williams admitted that her son, 18-year-old Dequan Smith, shot Swaggert, that she lied to police and fled with the children who were with her during the shooting at the La Quinta Hotel at 7815 S. Nicollet Av.
Smith, who was 17 at the time, remains charged in juvenile court with second-degree murder and illegal weapons possession. Prosecutors are seeking to have him tried as an adult.
According to the charges against Smith:
On July 12, a housekeeper spotted Swaggert dead on the floor. Inside the room were various personal items, bottles of alcohol and a stun gun. The next day, Williams called the hotel and said she wanted to collect her possessions.
Hotel management contacted police, who then spoke with Williams. She said she and her best friend were in the room along with Williams' three sons and three of Smith's friends. She said that she and others used illicit drugs while together.
Williams' 12-year-old son said Smith had been arguing with Swaggert and pointed a handgun at her for 15 to 30 seconds.
One of Smith's friends said Williams and Swaggert were arguing over $270 that Swaggert owed for rent on a storage unit.
Smith confronted Swaggert with the gun and asked her to pay his mother. Swaggert said no. Smith said, "One, two …" and shot Swaggert in the face despite his mother's objections, the friend said.
Williams and the children went to a nearby gas station and arranged for an Uber ride to south Minneapolis, then ended up at Powderhorn Park, where the gun was thrown in the lake by one of the friends.
Paul Walsh • 612-673-4482