A St. Paul, Minnesota man has been sentenced to over 72 years in prison for killing a mother and her two children in late January 2021.
TeKeith Jones pleaded guilty to three counts of second-degree murder in September. On November 23, 2021, he was sentenced to serve 72 years and 4 months in St. Cloud Prison.
Jones told police he shot and killed 30-year-old D’Zondria Wallace, 14-year-old La’Porsha Wallace, and 11-year-old Ja’Corbie Wallace to “save them from their mother.”
The criminal complaint states that Jones told police he was “going through a life experience he didn’t understand” and “was going to save someone so they wouldn’t have to go through what he did.” He also said so “they can go up there and be holy.”
D’Zondria Wallace was two months pregnant when she was killed.
Relatives and friends say Jones and D’Zondria were in a relationship. D’Zondria told Wileathia Brown, who considered D’Zondria her best friend, that she was trying to leave him behind.
In the summer of 2020, Brown said she was there when the couple argued. Jones said something to D’Zondria along the lines of, “I will kill you and there ain’t nothing your family can do about it,” according to Brown, who said D’Zondria used to cry to her about the names that Jones called her.
Brown went to D’Zondria’s home the week before the murders and she said Jones opened the door holding a gun. She thought maybe someone was after him and that was why he had the weapon.
A relative said Jones had previously broken into D’Zondria’s home and sexually assaulted her, and she had started dating someone else.
About one hour before police responded to the shooting on Jessie Street between Minnehaha and Bush avenues on Saturday afternoon, an officer went to the house to check on D’Zondria at the request of an out-of-state relative.
It was D’Zondria’s aunt and uncle who stopped by the house Saturday and found them.
When the family didn’t respond and Harold Johnson thought he heard noise inside, he pushed a door open. He saw his great-niece, La’Porsha, and initially believed she was sleeping, but then he saw Ja’Corbie.
“He said, ‘Uncle, help me,’ and then I saw all the blood,” Johnson said.
He quickly told his wife, Josephine Johnson, to call 911. She did and she rushed to the home of a family friend down the street, asking her to come help.
The children’s mother D’Zondria was also unconscious and not breathing on the couch, but her 11-year-old son Ja’Corbie Wallace was still alive and making gurgling sounds, according to the complaint.
The officer pulled up Ja’Corbie’s shirt and noticed he had two gunshot wounds to his back and saw several shell casings on the floor.
Authorities would ultimately recover a total of 14 spent shell casings throughout the apartment.
First responders were able to ask Ja’Corbie who shot him and the boy replied, “Keith” and indicated the man was his mother’s boyfriend, according to the complaint.
The 11-year-old was rushed to the local hospital for emergency surgery but died later that night as a result of his injuries. An autopsy would later determine that he had been shot five times.
His mother was shot twice and his sister was struck 10 times, authorities said.
D’Zondria’s cousin would also tell police that the 30-year-old had been dating a “very short man” named Keith who had tattoos all over his upper body, the court documents stated.
D’Zondria’s nephew also told police that although D’Zondria and Jones had broken up, he continued to come to her home, once breaking into a kitchen window in December. The nephew reported that he “swung” D’Zondria around and accused of her of seeing other men before he eventually calmed down, according to the complaint.
But the next morning, the nephew told police Jones “became upset again” and fired a pistol at D’Zondria’s head, but it missed, police said. Authorities were never called about the incident.
Jones has a prior criminal history and was convicted in 2012 of aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon in Texas, the paper reports. The following year, he was convicted of possession of prohibited substances in a correctional facility. He was released from prison in August 2019.