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Prosecutors charge 3 men in WSP murder
Before they climbed out of their SUV on Ohio Street in West St. Paul on a fateful night last January, Christino Rosario turned to his two partners and instructed them not to shoot anyone with the guns they were each holding.
He was 16 at the time.
But the next few moments went nothing like the trio planned; they fled the scene within seconds with none of the drugs or money they’d envisioned.
And Luis David Reyes-Galvan, 31, lay bleeding to death in his driveway while his wife, daughter and nephew hid in the house.
Rosario, now 17, along with Donovan Michael Diego, 18, and Malik Jamal Alize Farmer, 18, were each charged with first-degree murder in Dakota County Court Sept. 20.
Although Farmer was 17 and Rosario 16 at the time of the incident, Minnesota law stipulates defendants aged 16 and older charged with first-degree murder be tried as adults.
All three of the St. Paul men could face life in prison if convicted.
Victim pushes children inside
According to the criminal complaint filed in the case, the three had planned to storm the house and rob Reyes-Galvan using a 12-gauge shotgun, a 40-caliber handgun and a pellet gun shaped like a pistol. Rosario told investigators they targeted the home because he’d previously burglarized it in 2010 and thought Reyes-Galvan was connected to some kind of cartel. The group theorized the man must have stockpiles of drugs and cash at home.
When they pulled up in front of the house the evening of Jan. 11, the teens found no one home, and decided to wait in the car.
Reyes-Galvan drove home from seeing a movie with his 10-year-old daughter and 12-year-old nephew, arriving about 8 p.m. His daughter told investigators her father seemed instantly suspicious of the Ford Explorer parked in front of his house, and circled the block to get a better look at the vehicle and its occupants.
After Reyes-Galvan parked in the driveway and the children got out, the girl said, the three gunmen rushed her father. Reyes-Galvan pushed the children into the house, but was caught up in a brawl with his assailants in the driveway.
According to the criminal complaint, Reyes-Galvan’s wife was dialing 911 when she heard three gunshots and saw the men dash back to their vehicle.
Reyes-Galvan was transported to Regions Hospital with a gunshot wound to his chest. He was pronounced dead at 8:47 p.m.
Could ‘go down for a long time’
Diego was stopped by St. Paul Police two days later while driving the Ford Explorer and arrested for an unrelated incident. Inside the vehicle, police found a 9 mm handgun, a pellet gun and a spent shotgun shell.
A West St. Paul detective met with Diego in the Ramsey County jail to collect DNA sample for investigators to compare against DNA recovered from a glove found at the scene. Investigators did not mention the homicide investigation to Diego at the time they collected the DNA sample; however, in a phone conversation with his mother recorded by police, Diego said he knew what he was suspected of and that could “go down for a long time.”
Diego’s DNA was found to be a 90 percent match to the sample from the glove and later helped investigators identify his fellow gunmen, who were subsequently arrested.
Bail for Rosario and Farmer has been set at $75,000 each; Diego is currently being held without bail. Because the case involves first-degree murder charges, the defendants must be indicted by a grand jury before the case moves to trial. So far no date has been set for a grand jury hearing.
Luke Reiter can be reached email@example.com or at 651-748-7815.