blog post by John Hoff
IT IS NOT CONFIRMED that police informant "Andrew Neal" from this 2001 Minnesota Supreme Court case is the same as Andrew Neal, pictured above, who is now infamous and was arrested following the shooting of a police officer in North Minneapolis.
(ADDENDUM, FEBRUARY 28, 2015: Star Tribune subsequently confirmed Neal was a police informant)
Neal has not been charged in the officer shooting. There is concern this was a "targeted" shooting.
To be clear, I am publishing this story mostly because it's about North Minneapolis, plus it's full of names and interesting information, and these facts can't be found easily online because they're buried in this court document...
The name "Andrew Neal" makes it interesting, but even without that name, it's interesting.
Sections of the court document tell an amazing story about a murder in North Minneapolis and a gang known as the Mickey Cobras. According to Wikipedia, for what it's worth, this is an active gang based in Chicago but I've never heard their name connected to incidents in North Minneapolis.
I am simply copying and pasting the sections of the court case which describe events which happened, and slicing out the dry legal argument sections. The paragraph with "Andrew Neal" is the very last paragraph.
Whether this is the same Andrew Neal or not, this old case is pretty interesting:
State of Minnesota v. Keith Henderson, C4-99-1276
January 11, 2001
A jury found appellant Keith Henderson guilty of first-degree murder in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.185(1) (2000), and guilty of a crime committed for the benefit of a gang in violation of Minn. Stat. § 609.229, subds. 1 and 2 (2000), in connection with the shooting death of Juwan Gatlin. The district court sentenced Henderson to life in prison on the first-degree murder conviction and imposed a consecutive five-year sentence for conviction of a crime committed for the benefit of a gang. Henderson appeals his convictions and requests a new trial on several grounds.
Paul Givens testified that while in jail with Henderson, Henderson told him that he pushed a guy over in an alley and shot him in the leg, arm, and head. Givens testified that Henderson told him the victim said, “[d]on't shoot me no more. I'm already dead.” Although Givens had been declared incompetent to stand trial due to marginal intellectual capacity and dementia from severe head trauma, the district court found him competent to testify in Henderson's case.
(These little "fact sections" came later in the case document in association with various legal points being made. They tell a story out of order, but are revealing)
Williams identified other gang members and their ranks within the organization. Williams testified that on or shortly after the day of the murder Williams was driving a car in which Evans was a front-seat passenger. Williams' cousin was riding in the back seat. Evans whispered in Williams' ear: “T, we got away with it.” Nothing else was said on the subject until Williams and Evans were alone together in the hallway of Williams' apartment building. There, Evans elaborated. Williams testified that Evans said: “We got away with it, we got [Gatlin], we got [Gatlin].”
Williams asked Evans: “What [are] you talking about?”
Evans responded: “It was like me, Black [Henderson], DMC [Darryl McKee], QC, Rock [Donald Carter], Looney [Marvin Dancy].” Evans continued: “We told [Gatlin] that we was going to have emergency services.” Evans explained to Williams that the group went to Bell's house where, Evans said, McKee suggested that the group break Gatlin's neck, but they decided against it because of the difficulties of getting the body out of the house. The group left Bell's and proceeded to a weed house.
Williams testified that Evans told him that Henderson shot Gatlin and then handed the gun to Evans. Evans, after he had the gun, spoke to Gatlin, who responded: “I'm dead T, I'm dead.” Evans then shot Gatlin five times in the head. Williams testified that Evans said he saw Gatlin's brains spilling onto the ground after he shot him, and that Evans reported that it made him feel good to shoot and kill Gatlin. Evans told Williams that the reason for killing Gatlin was “[t]hey got a motion of discovery. He was snitching on the brothers.” The gist of Williams' testimony, then, was that Evans told him that the gang had decided to kill Gatlin for snitching, that Evans, Henderson, and several others plotted and executed the murder, and that although Henderson first shot Gatlin, Evans completed the murder, firing five more shots into Gatlin.
Henderson sought to introduce testimony that a police informant, Andrew Neal, was found in possession of a large quantity of cash and a handgun a few days after the Gatlin murder. Neal told police about conversations he and others had with Dedra Johnson about statements Henderson made to her. At the time of the murder Neal was on probation, the terms of which prohibited him from possessing firearms. The day after Gatlin's body was found, a search warrant was issued for Neal's residence. There, the police found a pistol in a bag with Neal's fingerprints on it and $2,000 in cash. Henderson's purpose in seeking to introduce that evidence was to demonstrate that because Neal would have to serve 90 months in jail if his probation was revoked, he had a motive to accuse Henderson in an effort to maintain his probationary status.