Prosecutors File Motion To Have Teen Tried As Adult

MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 17-year-old St. Paul boy has been charged in the shooting death of a woman at a Bloomington hotel. His mother also faces charges.

On Wednesday, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced that Dequan Smith was charged by juvenile petition with second-degree murder and prohibited person with a firearm. Hennepin County prosecutors have filed a motion to have Smith certified as an adult.

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Smith is accused of shooting and killing 39-year-old Jennifer Swaggert at LaQuinta Hotel on July 11. A housekeeper found her dead inside the hotel room the next day. Authorities said she had a single gunshot wound to the face.

Also charged was Smith’s mother, Trimeanna Williams, who faces aiding Smith after the murder and an additional charge of prohibited person in possession of a firearm.

Credit: Hennepin County

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Williams told police that she was in the hotel room that day with Swaggert, who she called her “best friend”. Three of her sons, including Smith, were also there, along with three other teenagers who were friends of Smith.

According to witnesses, prior to the shooting, Smith was fighting with Swaggert because she wouldn’t give his mother money to pay for a storage unit. He then pointed a gun at her, and despite his mother telling him not to shoot Swaggert, he shot her seconds later, the juvenile petition said.

Authorities say Williams then told everyone in the hotel room to leave. According to the petition, they then went to a nearby gas station where Williams ordered a car to take them to south Minneapolis where witnesses say they disposed of the gun.

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Both Smith and Williams have prior criminal history that prevent them from possessing guns.