Court records show that Robert David Lloyd Hall, 36, pleaded guilty to one count of second-degree unintentional murder and one count of attempted robbery during a pre-trial hearing in Hennepin County District Court.
Hall, who appeared via Zoom for the hearing, told the judge that he never meant to kill anyone when he fatally shot 21-year-old Kavanian Palmer. Rather, Hall said he meant to scare off the men who were attempting to subdue him until law enforcement arrived on the scene.
He had been fleeing from a hit-and-run at the time.
Hall will be sentenced later this month and faces up to 40 years in prison, but he can reportedly expect a sentence of more than 16 years.
It is unclear if this is part of a plea deal with the Hennepin County Attorney’s Office, who refused to comment when contacted by Law&Crime and then transferred calls to voicemail. He had been facing an additional second-degree murder charge as well as a charge for possession of a firearm by a felon.
The charges all stem from an incident on Nov. 12 of last year, when Hall allegedly ran a red light and crashed into another car, according to the probable cause affidavit filed in the case.
Eyewitnesses told police that Hall’s car “ran a red light and crashed into [another vehicle]” that morning.
Hall then opened the car door and began to flee the scene on foot, said those same eyewitnesses. Three men gave chase, though, and they were eventually able to catch up to Hall with the hope of subduing him until law enforcement arrived at the crash scene.
One of those men was Palmer.
Things took a sudden turn, however, when Hall, struggling to resist the men, “shot [Palmer] in the chest with a firearm.”
The shooting only seemed to encourage other Good Samaritans to stop Hall, who next attempted to carjack a young woman as she left a nearby shopping center.
“Several witnesses intervened and pulled [Hall] out of [the woman’s] vehicle and detained [Hall] until police arrived,” reads the incident report. “While witnesses were detaining [Hall], a silver .22LR caliber Jennings firearm fell out of [Hall’s] pocket. Witnesses also removed a bulletproof vest from [Hall] and a backpack containing narcotics.”
The probable cause affidavit revealed that there was also a second gun found in the motor vehicle, a .357 caliber firearm.
Hall had previously been convicted of a crime of violence and, as a result, is not legally allowed to own or possess any handgun in the state of Minnesota.
According to prosecutors, he was booked into Hennepin County Jail that day thanks to the number of surveillance cameras in the area that helped confirm the timeline of events provided by eyewitnesses quickly.
Hall has remained jailed ever since, with a judge setting his bail at $1,000,000.
The sudden guilty plea is not a huge surprise given the post-Miranda statement he allegedly made a week after his arrest.
Prosecutors summarized what Hall allegedly told them in a November court filing, which read:
[Hall] admitted to getting into a car accident and attempting to flee the scene because he had a warrant, guns, drugs, and a bulletproof vest in his possession. The victim and two other individuals attempted to prevent [Hall] from fleeing the scene of the accident. During the physical altercation with the victim, the firearm in Defendant’s pocket went off and shot the victim. [Hall] also admitted to being prohibited from possessing a firearm and owning and possessing the two firearms recovered from the scene.
NBC Minneapolis affiliate KARE was the first to report this story.
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