News and Press Releases

News and Press Releases

Two men sentenced for 2007 home invasion and murders

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 14, 2011


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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