Christopher Hayes charged in Christopher DeRonde's murder
Michael James Funches has been charged with accessory after the fact.
According to the complaint, 28-year-old DeRonde was dead on the sidewalk when the cops got there that morning, barefoot and laying on his back with a gunshot wound to the torso. Nearby, they found his shoes, a cell phone, a baseball cap, package of Cigarillos and some baggies of pot.
Piecing witness statements together later, investigators figured out that he'd been shot while sitting in the back seat of a red Dodge Intrepid, and had managed to stagger to the sidewalk before dying.
Surveillance technology helped them trace the car. A shot-spotter camera in the neighborhood picked up the gunfire at 11:46 a.m., swiveled around to record video on 30th Avenue, and the Intrepid was caught on tape. Then it was seen by a Safe Zone camera further away, where 30th crosses Lyndale Avenue North.
It turned out that the car was owned by 22-year-old Funches' girlfriend. And that booster seat belonged to her.
Funches came forward voluntarily and told police he'd driven his girlfriend to work that day, and then spent the morning cruising around town with friends and relatives, including 23-year-old Hayes. Then he'd met up with her again for lunch.
More surveillance video put DeRonde in the Emerson market at 2628 Emerson Avenue N. that morning, buying the Cigarillos.
Funches, when shown a photo of DeRonde, at first denied knowing him. Then he admitted buying pot from DeRonde, but a few days prior to the day of the murder. And he insisted he never killed anyone, and the car was never near the murder scene.
But the booster seat -- and the body -- led back to the crime.
Police tracked down other people who'd been in the Intrepid that morning who said they remembered seeing the booster seat in the car. And Funches said the car had never been out of his possession all morning.
So the cops believed they had Funches, and the car, at the scene, with DeRonde. But who killed DeRonde?
According to the complaint, a witness picked Hayes out of a photo lineup, and placed him in the driver's seat of the Intrepid at the time of the murder. Right before the shot rang out, he was turned around and pointing a gun at DeRonde, who was sitting in the back seat, next to Funches.
Hayes and Funches were arrested on Thursday and charged on Friday.
2010 Minneapolis Homicides:
- Sept. 17: Christopher de Ronde, 21
- Aug. 14: Charles Kentrell Jones, 17
- Aug. 3: Charles Anthony Means, 21
- July 28: Carl Antoine Miller, 47
- July 25: Gilbert Jordan, 28
- June 21: Cordale Moore, 26
- July 11: Lashon Scott, 27
- July 11: Tirso Cruz Gomez, 24
- July 5: Anthony Titus, 16
- July 2: Lionel Franklin, 38
- June 13: Andrew James Battees, 16
- June 12: Phelandis Depure Jackson, 29
- June 10: Matthew Deon Johnson, 22
- May 29: Cedric Hunter Jr., 18
- May 24: Derrick Gregory Martin, 20
- May 21: Anton Warren, 31
- May 21: Romaze Stevens, 30
- May 4: DeCarl Antonio Starr, 18
- April 28: Amy Terborg, 28
- April 8: Tony Gale, 37
- April 2: Pauline Nash, 42
- March 30: Kenneth Sims, 21
- March 23: Robert Blake Castonguay, 26
- March 17: James E. King Jr., 20
- February 27: Alisha Neely, 17
- February 13: Drew Heinkle, 25
- February 4: Michael Fonta, 45
- January 17: Marvin Ray Maynard, 16
- January 20: Orlando Keith Nunn, 21
- January 8: Walter Lee Dolley Jr., 19
- January 6: Abdifatah Warfa, 28
- January 6: Mohamed Warfa, 30
- January 6: Anwar Mohammed, 31
- January 2: Dontae D. Johnson, 31