2 suspects in Midway Motel killings now face first-degree murder charges

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Two suspects accused of killing two men at a motel earlier this year now face first-degree murder charges.

A Ramsey County grand jury has indicted Cass Oneal and Ronald Conway on a charge each of premeditated first-degree murder, intentional second-degree murder and unintentional second-degree murder.

They had previously been charged with second-degree murder in connection to the shooting. State law requires a grand jury to indict a suspect on any charge that carries a mandatory life sentence, including first-degree murder.

Oneal and Conway are accused of fatally shooting Dominque Charles Moss and Nicholas Bennett Tousley in the back at the Midway Motel in St. Paul on March 22, apparently because of a disagreement over $1,000, the criminal complaint says.

According to the charges:

Police responded to reports of "several gun shots" which is said to have followed a disturbance in room 15 of the motel.

A witness, identified as Eric Benner, told officers in an interview the shooting happened because Conway thought Tousley "had stolen $1,000 from him." Benner had driven Tousley and another man to the Midway earlier that day, where they were dealing methamphetamine.

During the altercation both Moss and Tousley were shot in the back, dying from their wounds. Moss’ body was found in the motel parking lot while Tousley was found on an entrance ramp nearby.

Video footage showed three suspects fleeing the scene in a black, four-door vehicle belonging to Benner, with one of the suspects appearing to point and fire a handgun.

The two men are expected to be arraigned on these upgraded charges Friday.

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