HIBBING — A not guilty plea has been entered on behalf of a Hibbing resident charged in the shooting death of a man on Christmas Day.
Thirty-year-old Jerome Dionte Spann appeared for his contested omnibus hearing in the St. Louis County District Court in Hibbing on Wednesday afternoon after spending nearly six months in jail on charges of second-degree murder and second-degree assault.
Assistant County Attorney Jessica Fralich stood in the courtroom before Sixth Judicial District Judge Rachel C. Sullivan saying the state has been reviewing discovery and investigative materials. Assistant Public Defender Elizabeth Ann Polling explained that her client was waiving constitutional challenges to evidence. The judge set a pretrial hearing for Aug. 8.
If convicted, Spann faces a maximum sentence of 40 years behind bars for the murder count and seven years for the assault count.
The Hibbing Police Department responded on Dec. 25, 2018 to a report of a shooting outside of a residence in the 2400 block of Third Avenue East and found 34-year-old Jeryel Octavious McBeth and 25-year-old Jamien Quartez Stucky suffering from gunshot wounds. An ambulance transported McBeth to Fairview Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead. Stucky did not have life-threatening injuries. He was treated at the hospital and released.
Police officers said McBeth and Stucky had been standing with several others outside of the residence when two men exited a sport-utility vehicle nearby, according to district court documents. One of the men, later identified as Spann, carried a handgun by the barrel as he approached the group and shot McBeth three times: in the left side of the chest, right shoulder and right forearm. Spann continued shooting five rounds, striking Stucky and nearly hitting another man, officers said.
At the time, authorities reported that Spann fled the scene in a vehicle with an unidentified man and may have been heading down to St. Paul to stay with relatives. Hibbing police would confirm that Spann knew both men, who lived in the community.
Spann was arrested on Dec. 28, 2018 in the state capital and then booked into the Ramsey County jail. Two days later, he made his initial appearance in District Court in Hibbing. He has since been in the St. Louis County Jail on $500,000 bail.
In 2013, Spann was convicted of a gross misdemeanor count of carrying or possessing a firearm without a permit in Ramsey County, according to a criminal history search on the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension website. He was convicted of the same charge again in Hennepin County in 2017.