Guilty plea in fatal metro transit shooting last April
Jerome Pablo Cross pleaded guilty Tuesday in Ramsey County District Court to second-degree intentional murder in the shooting death of Earl Ray Freeman aboard a bus in downtown St. Paul last April, reports the Star Tribune and the Pioneer Press.
The shot was a result of a fight between two groups of youth. Freeman, 16, and two others got on a Route 74 bus at 5th and Minnesota. Cross, aka Ro-Ro, got on a couple of blocks later. He intended to shoot Emmett Wilson-Shaw, who had boarded the bus with the victim.
The bullet hit Freeman, who was sitting next to Wlison-Shaw, in the chest. Cross told the court today that he threw out the gun and his gloves, then went home to sleep.
The guilty plea did not make amends between the groups of supporters for both the defendant and the victim. A fight broke out in the hallway after the court hearing. However, it was quickly stopped by sheriff deputies and police.
The case was to go before a Grand Jury on Wednesday to consider a first-degree murder charge, which carries a life sentence. Cross was certified to be tried as an adult, and the guilty plea today came one day before his 18th birthday.
Sentencing has been set for Jan. 4.