A St. Paul teenager has struck a plea deal with prosecutors regarding his role in a 10-day carjacking and robbery spree across the Twin Cities.
Kashawn Jason Wertman, 18, agreed to plead guilty in exchange for a 10 year prison sentence.
In addition to the deal, U.S. Attorney Andy Luger agreed to not prosecute the teenager at a federal level, as part of his crackdown announcement on carjacking and violent crime last month.
Wertman was charged in January with a combined 31 felony counts, all tied to carjackings, robberies and other crimes that happened Jan. 7-17 in 15 metro cities.
Also charged in the case 19-year-old Nautica Alaja Argue, from St. Paul. She also pleaded guilty to multiple crimes on May 23 and will be sentenced on July 5.
The following are incidents the two were involved in:
- On Jan. 7 in White Bear Lake, a food delivery driver was carjacked at gunpoint.
- Two days later, a woman attending her child's basketball game had her car stolen when she went to her vehicle in the middle school's parking lot to get a bottle of water.
- The same evening, two women at a Roseville shopping center were pushed to the ground — one was threatened and managed to call 911 from her watch without losing any belongings, while the other had a purse and phone stolen.
- Jan. 10, a man in a mask ran up behind a woman in a St. Louis Park parking ramp, grabbed her purse, then shoved her to the pavement before stealing her vehicle and fleeing.
- The afternoon and evening of Jan. 12, they were involved in an auto theft in Richfield where they suggested they had guns; a violent carjacking in Brooklyn Center where a woman was punched in the face; an attempted carjacking outside of an Edina daycare during which one of the suspects jumped on top of the victim after she fell; and a carjacking in St. Louis Park during which the victim was punched in the head.
- A auto theft, carjacking and robbery Jan. 15-17 in St Louis Park.
- A carjacking in Minneapolis' Marcy-Holmes neighborhood Jan. 17.
The crime spree spanned the cities St. Louis Park, Plymouth, Richfield, Brooklyn Center, Minneapolis, Edina, White Bear Lake, Roseville, Columbia Heights, Lakeville, Eagan, Little Canada, Burnsville, Woodbury and St. Paul.
Wertman, according to the charges, initially admitted to one car theft and to fleeing from police, but denied the other allegations and said officers "should be out arresting murderers, not people who steal cars." He has juvenile adjudications for robbery and assault, court records show.