MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Eighteen-year-old Dequan Smith will spend more than 18 years in prison after pleading guilty Monday to the murder of family friend Jennifer Swaggert, 39.
The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office says Smith admitted to shooting Swaggert in the face at the Bloomington LaQuinta Hotel on July 11, 2020. The shooting was in the midst of an argument where Smith demanded Swaggert pay his mother money for a storage unit. Her body was found the next day by a hotel employee.
At Monday’s court hearing, Smith apologized to Swaggert’s family after 10 members delivered victim impact statements.
Smith, who was 17 at the time of the killing, pleaded guilty to second-degree unintentional murder and attempted first-degree robbery, with the second charge stemming for an incident on a Metro Transit bus one day after the killing. He was tried as an adult, and will serve his sentence in an adult prison.
Trimeanna Williams, Smith’s mother, is currently serving a six-year prison sentence for aiding and abetting her son.