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Two Men Sentenced for 2007 Home Invasion and Murders

U.S. Attorney’s Office November 14, 2011
  • District of Minnesota (612) 664-5600

MINNEAPOLIS—The two men convicted of the March 23, 2007, St. Paul home-invasion murders of Brittany Kekedakis, age 15, Maria McLay, age 32, and Otahl Saunders, age 31, were sentenced earlier today in federal court. United States District Court Judge Joan N. Ericksen sentenced Tyvarus Lee Lindsey, age 29, of St. Paul, to life in prison on three counts of murder resulting from possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug trafficking offense and ten years in prison on one count of possession of a firearm in furtherance of a drug-trafficking offense. Rashad Raleigh, age 33, of St. Paul, received an identical sentence for the same charges.

Because the federal criminal justice system does not have parole, the defendants will serve virtually the entire terms of imprisonment imposed against them behind bars. Judge Ericksen reiterated that fact when, while handing down today’s sentences, she said, “There is nothing that would justify anything other than life in prison. You only get one life, and you will be spending the rest of yours in jail.”

Following today’s court hearing, U.S. Attorney B. Todd Jones added, “While all violent crime is despicable, this particular act was even more abhorrent because it involved the forced entry into a private home and the cold-blooded killing of three people in front of two children. Those responsible for that heinous behavior deserve the toughest of sentences, and that’s what they got. Of course, the court’s action will not restore the lives of the victims or their families, but, hopefully, it will provide them with a sense of justice served.”

Both Lindsey and Raleigh were indicted on January 20, 2010, and convicted on June 21, 2011, after an eight-day jury trial. The evidence presented at trial proved that on March 23, 2007, Lindsey, also known as Little Stick, and Raleigh, also known as Shoddy, committed the murders. On that day, officers responded to a call from the 200 block of Burgess Avenue in St. Paul at about 6:40 a.m. Upon arriving at the house that was the subject of the call, officers found Saunders’ body as well as the bodies of Maria McLay, Saunders’ live-in girlfriend, and her daughter, Brittany Kekedakis. McLay’s other two children, ages 7 and 10 at the time, had run to a relative’s house for help. They witnessed much of what happened in the house, although they were not physically harmed.

Both defendants remain in custody. At present, they are serving prison terms on unrelated state charges. Today’s federal sentences will run concurrent to the state sentences. In addition, both defendants were ordered to pay $19,500 in restitution.

This case was the result of an investigation by the St. Paul Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, with assistance from the Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota Department of Corrections. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey S. Paulsen and Christian S. Wilton.

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