MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 22-year-old Minneapolis man has been sentenced to nearly seven years – 81 months – in prison in connection with a man’s punching death, but steadfastly maintains that he was not the one to throw the deadly punch, the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced.
On Thursday, Tristan Antonio Keys was sentenced for both aiding an offender after the fact and second-degree drug possession. The sentences, which were identical, will be served concurrently.
On April 29, 2013, police were called to the Stop N Shop on 3050 First Ave. S. in Minneapolis where they found Lamar Wilson, 53, of Apple Valley on the ground, bloodied and having trouble breathing. Authorities say he had stopped to check the lights on his van when an SUV pulled up, the driver got out, accused him of being a snitch and punched him once in the head, which dropped him to the pavement.
At his guilty plea and again Thursday, Keys denied he was the one who punched Wilson.
“You seem like God-fearing people,” Keys said to Wilson’s sister and wife who gave victim impact statements. “And as God is my witness, I did not lay a hand on him.”
Keys said the only thing he did was drive away the man who did punch Wilson.
“So you know who did it,” Hennepin County District Court Judge Holton Dimick asked and he said yes. “What is your responsibility there?”
Dimick told Keys that this violence has to stop.
“Our communities are being ruined,” she said. “You have to take responsibility to where your actions change.”
Wilson family described him as being a kind man who would help people having car trouble, was an usher in his church and an intelligent man who sewed many of his own clothes.