Murder at North Side 4th of July party related to unsolved St. Paul slaying, charges say
The violent ripple effects of Prince Pope's murder at his January birthday party in St. Paul are still being felt across the border in Minneapolis, according to charges filed yesterday in connection with a murder at a 4th of July party on Minneapolis's North Side.
Prince Pope's murder remains unsolved. Authorities say a confrontation over it led to a slaying in north Minneapolis during the early morning hours of July 5.
At the party, which was hosted by 24-year-old Francesca DeSandre at 2617 3rd St. N., Marco Gresham, also 24, confronted a woman identified in the complaint as "V.G." about "her knowledge of [Gresham's] alleged involvement" in Pope's murder, according to a statement V.G. subsequently gave to police.
The complaint details what allegedly happened next:
V.G. denied being present or having any knowledge. [Gresham] displayed a handgun and pointed it at V.G.. V.G. attempted to push the gun away, but [Gresham] pulled V.G. close to him and fired one bullet into V.G.'s abdomen. V.G. fell to the ground. Ms. DeSandre began to run toward the house. Several other shots were fired toward her in rapid succession. Ms. DeSandre collapsed near the front steps of her home.When police arrived at the scene, DeSandre was "face down near the front steps of the address... motionless and did not appear to be breathing," the charges say. Blood was pooled under her body. She was pronounced dead at the scene.
V.G., 25, was found lying on her back on a sidewalk. Her breathing was labored and she was rushed to North Memorial Medical Center for emergency surgery on a bullet wound in her abdomen. She's expected to survive.
Gresham was arrested at his mother's Minneapolis home on July 8. A four-door Mitsubishi Mirage a neighbor reported seeing driving away from the murder scene with several males inside was found at the house.
Last January, Pope was shot to death while reportedly trying to mediate a chaotic altercation that broke out during his 32nd birthday party in Frogtown. Pope's brother, Rico Jackson, was stabbed during the melee, and one of them men arrested in connection with the stabbing was the boyfriend of then-19-year-old sister of Pope and Jackson.
Pope managed a YouTube channel, "Prince P TV," that had almost 7,000 subscribers, the Pioneer Press reported just after his murder.
His brother told the paper Pope "did it all."
"He could act, had his own online radio station, his own YouTube station," Jackson said. "You could see he was self-promoter. He loved the people and the people loved him back."
Though Leevester Rhodes, 24, was charged with second-degree assault in connection with Jackson's stabbing, nobody has been charged with Pope's murder. Ramsey County officials tell us today the case remains unsolved.
Hennepin County authorities aren't releasing Gresham's mugshot because their investigation is ongoing. Whether their work will result in murder charges for Pope's murder in addition to the second-degree murder charges Gresham faces in connection with DeSandre's slaying remains to be seen.
To read Gresham's criminal complaint for yourself, click to page two.