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Jury convicts Minneapolis man of drive-by killing that left victim dead on street

November 7, 2018

Hennepin County jurors convicted a Minneapolis man of a drive-by shooting that left his 29-year-old victim dead on a north side street.

The jury took four hours to find Willie B. Brown Jr., 35, guilty in Hennepin County District Court last week of second-degree murder, drive-by shooting and second-degree assault in connection with the April killing of 29-year-old Dwayne Hawkins Jr.

The County Attorneys Office said that if Browns convictions on the second-degree murder and drive-by shooting counts are served consecutively, state sentencing guidelines would call for a term of more than 36 years.

With credit for time spent in jail since his arrest, Brown would serve the nearly 24 years in prison and the balance on supervised release. Sentencing is scheduled for Dec. 12.

Police were sent to the 1900 block of Newton Avenue N. in Minneapolis shortly after 5 a.m. April 26 on a report of shots fired. They found Hawkins down in the street and shot in the head and neck.

Later that morning, police were sent to a shooting in the 2900 block of Sheridan Avenue N., where a woman said Brown drove by and fired several shots.

Officers located his car, and its interior was covered in blood. A short time later, officers found Brown walking in the neighborhood and arrested him. They searched the area and located two handguns in the gutter of an unattached garage. They matched the discharged cartridge casings found at both shooting scenes.

Authorities believe Brown and Hawkins had been involved in some type of confrontation.

Paul Walsh 612-673-4482

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