An Owatonna man who admitted to trying to kill rival gang members in Brooklyn Park has been sentenced to more than 26 years in prison, according to court documents.
Cortinez Armoney Powell, 23, was sentenced Tuesday in Hennepin County District Court by Judge Regina Chu to 318 months in a state prison. Powell pleaded guilty on July 16 to two counts of first-degree attempted murder with intent while committing a felony for the benefit of a gang. Powell originally pleaded not guilty in February to the Nov. 30 incident that wounded two victims during a drive-by shooting.
According to the criminal complaint, Brooklyn Park police responded that night to a report of someone being shot. They found a vehicle “riddled with bullet holes” on the passenger’s side and two victims with multiple bullet wounds. The driver was shot in the right leg, right arm, left elbow and behind his right ear. The front seat passenger had bullet wounds to his head, arm, leg and back. A subsequent medical examination revealed the front seat passenger had been struck nine times by the gun fire. Both victims were conscious when the officers arrived.
Two other passengers were in the back seat of the vehicle during the shooting, but were not wounded.
The front seat passenger told the police they belong to a criminal street gang called “TFS Label,” which sides with the “Highs” affiliation of the criminal street gangs in Minneapolis. According to their statements, they had been arguing with rival “Lows” gang affiliates over Facebook, leading him to receive a threatening direct message.
The front seat passenger told police the victims had left his home in Crystal on Nov. 30 and were followed by two vehicles on County Road 81. When the vehicles approached an intersection, gun shots were fired from both suspect vehicles.
The investigation showed one of the victims had communicated with Powel on Nov. 29 in reference to gang-related issues and the possibility of future gunfire.
Investigators were able to narrow down suspects in the shooting to Powell and four other “Lows” affiliates: Savion Samuel Reeves-Crittenden (19), Stephon Leron Parker-Rouse (24), and Donta Jaboat Brown (28), all of Minneapolis, as well as Cinque Daprice Owens (26) of New Brighton. All were charged with the same charges as Powell and their cases are still ongoing.
During a post-Miranda recorded interview with Powell, he did not deny being present during the shooting and at one point commented, “I would rather just do my time.”
Because of Minnesota’s “two-thirds rule,” where a felony offender is sentenced to a fixed executed sentence and must serve a minimum term of imprisonment that is equal to two-thirds of the executed sentence, Powell may end up serving only 17 years of his sentence, making his anticipated release date Aug. 16, 2038.
Powell is currently incarcerated at the state prison in St. Cloud.