Concurrent sentencing renders someone’s life meaningless
In 2008, Brian Flowers, a month shy of 17, participated with another juvenile male in the brutal murders of Katricia Daniels and her 10-year-old son Robert Shepard in their North…
In 2019, Husayn Braveheart, then 15 years old, and Jared Osman, then 17 years old, conspired to commit multiple armed carjackings and burglaries over several days. During their third carjacking, both young men fired handguns at Steven Markey, the driver, who had tried to drive away from them. Markey was hit multiple times and died after crashing his car a short distance away.
According to Markey’s family members, autopsy records indicate Markey was hit by bullets from two separate guns, but it was determined that the fatal round came from Osman’s gun.
After the fatal carjacking, Braveheart and Osman assaulted a person in downtown Minneapolis, stole a car in St. Louis Park, and went on to burglarize two occupied homes in the west metro. Police attempted to stop them as they left the scene of the second burglary and the young men led police on a high-speed chase before crashing and being arrested.
These weren’t just harmless juvenile crimes. Braveheart and Osman destroyed lives.
They also made detailed plans that included changing clothes between crimes, disposing of evidence, and fleeing police to avoid capture. That showed thought and intent, not a lack of impulse control.
Furthermore, according to the Markey family, text records they obtained during the court process showed that Braveheart, though younger than Osman, was the ringleader and driving force behind the crimes.
Both young men were eventually certified to stand trial as adults. Any one of these armed violent offenses should have resulted in significant prison sentences for Osman and Braveheart. Combined — neither should have seen the outside of a prison until they were grey and old. That is the type of response a law-abiding society deserves from its criminal justice system.
Fortunately for Osman and Braveheart, they committed their violence in Hennepin County, where too often the criminal justice system has shown more concern for the impact it has on offenders than on the impact those offenders have on their victims.
Court records indicate Osman cooperated in the investigations while Braveheart did not. Osman was eventually found guilty and sentenced to 21 years in prison, of which he will serve just 14 years behind bars.
For Braveheart, the uncooperative ringleader, the response was even weaker — much weaker.
In 2023, Mary Moriarty took over as the Hennepin County Attorney. She vowed to “treat kids like kids,” and made headlines with her philosophy that the human brain is not fully developed until 25 years of age, and reasoning that juveniles are not as culpable for their crimes due to a lack of impulse control.
In the case of Braveheart, Moriarty took the position that he deserved counseling and therapy, not incarceration. As such, her office entered into plea negotiations with Braveheart to spare him from prison.
In October, Judge Michael Burns nobly rejected an agreement in the Markey murder case that would have sent Braveheart to the county workhouse for just a year followed by probation.
After being rejected, Moriarty and the defense then devised an outright end-around on the court.
At an appearance last week, they announced a new plea agreement. Moriarty agreed to drop the murder charges against Braveheart and recharge him with a single count of attempted 1st degree assault of Markey. The sentence for this new charge called for a prison term which was shorter than the credit Braveheart would receive for time served awaiting trial — in effect zero additional prison time.
Judge Burns felt compelled to accept the terms of this new agreement, but made clear that he was concerned with the message he believed this agreement was sending to Braveheart. Judge Burns also offered a rare apology from the bench to the Markey family for the way they had been treated by the system during the plea negotiations.
Braveheart then reappeared in court this week to dispose of the remaining carjacking cases against him. For those he received a year in the workhouse, for which he will serve just eight months, followed by five years of probation.
In the end — for the murder of Steven Markey, three armed carjackings, felony possession of a handgun by a minor, an assault, two occupied home burglaries, theft of a motor vehicle, and fleeing police in a motor vehicle, Braveheart will serve just eight more months in the county workhouse before going on probation for five years.
Oddly, despite citing “science” suggesting Braveheart’s brain and impulse control are still five years from being fully developed, Moriarty wants us to ignore that same science as she sends Braveheart back to our community as a free man in just a few months.
The double standard is not lost on those paying attention.
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