MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Twelve Hennepin County jurors have a lot to think about. The case of the killing of a 58-year-old grandmother is now in their hands.
Birdell Beeks was sitting in a van with her granddaughter on May 26, 2016, when a stray bullet killed her. Joshua Ezeka, who is now 21, admitted to shooting and killing her but says he was aiming for someone else.
WCCO’s Susan Elizabeth Littlefield was in court on Tuesday for closing arguments in his trial.
The jury got the case late Tuesday, at about 4:15 p.m. They will now go back to deliberations in the morning. It was a long afternoon as both sides made passionate closing arguments.
Birdell Beeks, 58, was a beloved grandmother who’d been battling cancer when she went to run errands with her 16-year-old granddaughter. While sitting in a van in north Minneapolis, she was shot to death.
Officers say Joshua Ezeka confessed to firing nine shots, but says he was aiming for a man who was in a rival gang. Ezeka’s attorney says he thought the other man was coming to attack him, so Ezeka shot toward the man to scare him.
During closing arguments, Prosecutor Dominick Mathews said, “All of his choices were intentional and deliberate and could have prevented the death of Birdell Beeks.”
Defense Attorney Erik Beitzel reminded jurors, “We are talking about what was going through the mind of a 20-year-old.”
The jury will return at 9 a.m. Wednesday. They have 160 pieces of evidence to consider.