Minneapolis — A Minneapolis man was charged with kidnapping and second-degree murder in the fatal shooting of Monique Baugh on New Year’s Eve, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman announced Monday.
Cedric Lamont Berry, 41, also was charged with attempted murder in the shooting of the 28-year-old Baugh’s boyfriend on the same day. Berry is expected to make his first court appearance Tuesday and prosecutors will be requesting a high bail.
“I cannot begin to describe how vicious the behavior was in this case,” Freeman said. “We have charged Mr. Berry with setting a trap for Ms. Baugh, assassinating her at close range and shooting at her boyfriend while in the same house with two small children. We are seeking high bail and will do all in our power to prove him guilty.”
According to the criminal complaint, around 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 31, a man with a black mask with one hole for both eyes used a key to enter a home in the 4800 block of Humboldt Avenue North and shot at Baugh’s boyfriend as he was sitting on the steps to the second floor. His three-year-old child was nearby on a couch and his one-year-old was sleeping upstairs, where the boyfriend fled from the gunman.
Relatives showed up at the house to take care of the children when the victim was rushed to the hospital. One of the relatives was Baugh’s mother, the complaint states. She noted that the key that had been dropped by the shooter belonged to Baugh and Baugh would normally be home at that time of day.
At 6:38 p.m., three shots were fired in an alley in the 1300 block of Russell Avenue North. When police arrived, they found Baugh, her hands bound by tape, and dead from three bullet wounds, according to the complaint. At both shootings, police found .45-caliber, silver-colored Federal brand discharged cartridge casings.
Further investigation determined that Baugh, a relator, had been called on her private cell phone that afternoon by someone who wanted to view a house in Maple Grove, the complaint states. She arrived there about 3 p.m. and a short time later, a U-Haul van arrived. Video showed a person forcibly walking someone into the cargo area of the van, which drove away at 3:18 p.m.
Other video showed the U-Haul near the Humboldt Avenue shooting and a license plate number led them to a business in Mounds View. The business owner provided the name of the two people who rented the van. They then told police they rented it for Berry, who gave them heroin in return, according to the complaint.
When Berry was arrested about midnight Jan. 2, police searched his car. They found a black mask like the one worn in the first shooting and 13 baggies of suspected heroin. Berry is believed to be a drug dealing rival to Baugh’s boyfriend.
Police said they wouldn’t release any more information at this time, calling the investigation open and active.