In exchange for his guilty plea, prosecutors dropped the two first-degree murder charges and another second-degree murder charge against the 16-year-old Anderson. Half of the court room was filled with the family of five-year-old George, who was killed while sleeping on his grandmother's couch when Anderson and Stephon Shannon fired repeatedly into the North Minneapolis house.
Twenty-eight years may seem like a long time, but Mr. Anderson deserves every minute for brazenly shooting up a house and killing an innocent five-year-old boy as he slept," Freeman said. "Finally, we are getting some closure on this horrible crime."
When asked by Hennepin County District Court Judge William Koch how he pleaded to the murder charge and his actions on "June 26, 2012 that resulted in the death of Nizzel Anthony George," he responded with "guilty." A member of George's family gasped and cried.
At one point as he was responding to questions from his lawyer about giving up his rights to a trial, Anderson laughed and smiled. Judge Koch noted that and told Anderson that he suspected it was just nervous laughter and suggested he take a deep breath.
However, when several members of George's family gave their impact statements, they all said Anderson was being disrespectful to them by laughing and smiling.
When it was his turn to speak, Anderson apologized to the family. During his statement, he also admitted that even though he was only 15 at the time of the shooting, he always carried a gun and even slept with a gun.
Anderson did not admit to being part of a gang, as Shannon did when he pleaded guilty in February. He said only that he accompanied his friend who had a grudge against some of the people in the house at 4515 Bryant Ave. N. Shannon believed there were members of a gang in that house and he wanted to retaliate against them. At about 8:30 a.m., the two teenagers stood outside the house and fired at least 10 shots. One went through the siding and killed George.
Shannon was also sentenced to the same 336 month prison term as Anderson.