Teen sentenced to 10 years in party bus slaying of aspiring rapper

Billy Ray Robles was caught in the crossfire as a fight erupted in March 2018.
Billy Ray Robles and girlfriend Alexis Cardy with Stefon Diggs.

Billy Ray Robles and girlfriend Alexis Cardy with Stefon Diggs.

A teenager has been sentenced to serve 128 months in prison in connection with the shooting outside a party bus in Inver Grove Heights that left a young rapper dead.

Trashaun Morris, who was 17 at the time but is now 18 and was tried as an adult, pleaded guilty to the 2nd-degree murder without intent of Billy Ray Robles, 19, in March 2018.

The shooting followed a dispute between rival gangs on the party bus, which dropped the groups off outside AMC Showplace movie theater in IGH.

What followed was an altercation that erupted in gunfire, with Robles, an aspiring rapper whose family says was not a gang member, was fatally struck as he tried to break up the fight.

Morris, of St. Paul, is one of four teenagers involved in the incident that have been imprisoned as a result, with two 16 year olds from St. Paul sentenced to 60 months and 48 months respectively after pleading guilty to 1st-degree riot.

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And 18-year-old Taishawn Smith, of Crystal, was sentenced to 13 months last September for 2nd-degree riot.

Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom said: We are pleased to have brought those responsible for the senseless death of Billy Ray Robles to justice," before expressing his sympathy for Robles' family.

Robles' mother told BMTN last year that her son was a "friend to everyone."

"Billy fit in with everyone, he had his rapper friends, sports friends, technology friends, church friends, work friends, friends in gangs, rich friends, poor friends, successful friends, and lost friends. He didn't judge anyone," she said.

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