MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – A 23-year-old man has been sentenced to more than 10 years in prison after pleading guilty to fatally beating a homeless man last June on the city’s north side.

Willis Esposito Richardson, of Minneapolis, was sentenced Thursday to 128 months in prison. He pleaded guilty in April to one count of second-degree unintentional murder.

According to authorities, Richardson and a teenager beat 50-year-old Harry Lee Brown on June 29, 2012. Brown died days later after being kept on life support. The cause of death was blunt force head injuries, according to Hennepin County Medical Examiner.

The teen involved in the killing, Andre Zedrick Steward Jr., told police that he and Richardson were looking for someone to rob that night. At around 9 p.m., they saw Brown walking along 18th Street North, near Bryant Avenue, carrying a bag from a liquor store.

Richardson attacked Brown, Steward said, by hitting him in the legs with a baseball bat, but Brown fought back. In an effort to help Richardson, Steward punched Brown in the face. The two then robbed Brown of $5 and used it to buy liquor.

After also pleading guilty to second-degree murder, Steward was sentenced last October to five years in prison.


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