Rochester Murder Trial Canceled Due to Last Minute Plea Deal
Rochester, MN (KROC-AM News) - On the same day his second murder trial was set to begin, a Rochester man entered a guilty plea today in a 2019 murder case.
Jury selection was scheduled to start today for the retrial of 33-year-old Muhidin Abukar, but instead, he admitted to a second-degree murder charge in connection with the "execution-style" slaying of 28-year-old Garad Roble. The Rochester man was found dead from nearly a dozen gunshot wounds on a rural southeast Rochester road in early March 2019.
Under the plea deal, the original charge of second-degree murder with intent was dropped and replaced with a count of second-degree murder without intent. A presentence investigation was ordered for Abukar, who will remain in jail without bail until his sentencing hearing.
Abukar was brought to trial on the original second-degree murder charge last December, but a mistrial was declared after the jury was unable to reach a unanimous verdict after 18 hours of deliberations. Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem later announced his office’s intent to hold another trial.
Another man charged with Roble's death was convicted of second-degree murder in a trial held in April. 25-year-old Ayub Iman is scheduled to be sentenced on June 2.