Two people have been sentenced for their involvement in a a nightlong robbery and burglary spree in the Twin Cities that left two people dead, including a 24-year-old St. Paul mother.
Thursday, a Hennepin County Judge sentenced Albert McIntosh to more than 38 years in prison. Michelle Koester got 32 years.
McIntosh and Koester were each given credit for more than 500 days already served. Both were also ordered to pay $15,499 in restitution to the family of one of their victims – Julio Mozo-Cuate – and about $4,000 to another victim.
The other suspects, Alvin Bell, Isiah Harper and Shannon Haiden, have already pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing.
The original story from Feb. 10 is below.
Two people were found guilty of being part of a nightlong robbery and burglary spree in the Twin Cities that left two people dead, including a 24-year-old St. Paul mother.
Albert McIntosh, 32, and Michelle Koester, 43, were both found guilty on multiple counts connected to the second leg of the October 2015 rampage, Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said Friday.
Both will be sentenced March 16. Three others – Alvin Bell, Isiah Harper, Shannon Haiden – already pleaded guilty to crimes related to the spree, and are waiting to be sentenced.
What happened that night?
The Hennepin County Attorney's Office said Koester initially brought together the group – Bell, Harper, Haiden, and McIntosh – on Oct. 18, 2015 to commit a robbery. Koester was the organizer and told the group to bring a gun, the office says.
Earlier charges said the crimes started around 8 p.m. when the group broke into Sarah Wierstad's St. Paul home. The mother was fatally shot in the encounter.
Around 9 p.m. and now in Minneapolis, the group robbed a man in a parked car at gunpoint then left. An hour later they came across 42-year-old Julio Mozo-Cuate smoking in his car.
Harper asked for a cigarette, then the other men attacked. Mozo-Cuate tried to resist, and McIntosh reportedly shot him several times. Mozo-Cuate died at a hospital.
Three of the men – one of which had a gun – then the group broke into a house while a family was home, stealing money, credit cards and a PlayStation.
They were arrested and charged in the weeks that followed.
What happened with the charges
The two guilty verdicts announced Friday against McIntosh and Koester do not include the St. Paul robbery and shooting – only the crimes that happened in Minneapolis.
Previously, McIntosh had been charged with the murder of Wierstad. However, he was found not guilty last fall.
McIntosh was “the man who was in charge when they went out into the field,” the Hennepin County Attorney's Office said. He also suggested they go to Hispanic neighborhoods, saying people there were more likely to carry cash and less likely to call police.
Officials say that even though Koester was the organizer, she never actually left the vehicle during the crime spree. She just drove people around.
According to the Pioneer Press and court records, Bell pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting second-degree murder in the St. Paul incidents (which is in Ramsey County), and Harper pleaded guilty to first-degree burglary.