A man convicted of murdering four people and leaving their bodies in a Dunn County cornfield was sentenced Monday, May 15, to more than 100 years behind bars.
Antoine D. Suggs, 39, of Scottsdale, Arizona, will serve 103 years in prison on four consecutive counts of second-degree murder—intentional, but not premeditated for the deaths of Jasmine Christine Sturm, 30, Matthew Isiah Pettus, 26, and Loyace Foreman III, 35, all of St. Paul; and Nitosha Lee Flug-Presley, 30, of Stillwater, Minn.
‘Each one of these individuals — Nitosha, Jasmine, Matthew and Loyace — deserves that you serve time for each one of them,” Ramsey County, Minnesota Judge JaPaul Harris said at sentencing.
According to a criminal complaint filed in Ramsey County, Suggs told his father he “snapped and shot a couple people” after visiting some St. Paul bars. Suggs said he was in Minnesota at the time to visit his children.
After shooting the four in an SUV between 3:30 and 3:48 a.m. on Sept. 12, 2021, in St. Paul, Suggs stayed with the vehicle and bodies for several hours before driving to the Town of Sheridan in northern Dunn County and abandoning the SUV in the cornfield.
The black 2008 Mercedes-Benz GL was found later that afternoon by a local farm worker in a cornfield along Hwy. VVV near the Sheridan Town Hall. One victim was found in the passenger front seat and three were found in the rear seats of the vehicle, all with gunshot wounds to their heads.
Suggs claimed self-defense during trial and at sentencing, claiming the four were trying to rob him.
Harris said, “There’s nothing this court’s going to be able to tell you to get you off of this idea of self-defense, but it was the jury’s belief and it is this court’s belief that you did not act in self-defense.”
The true motive for the killings remains unclear.
Harris said, “I do not know what happened, and there’s only five people who know what happened that night, and four of them are in the cemetery right now.”
Harris said he received 26 statements in support of Suggs, many of which portrayed him as a loving father of six children.
“I sat and weighed that story of who that person is against the story of someone who can kill four people, drive them around the city, dump them in a cornfield and leave for Arizona—leave them to never be found, but by the fortune of a farmhand finding them. Those two people are different people and there’s no way I can reconcile who they are,” he said.
Suggs showed no remorse for the deaths.
“As I listened to your statement at the end, there was no ‘I’m sorry for your loss,’ and while you truly believed that this was self-defense, there are four families grieving loved ones,” said Harris. “You pulled the trigger. You put them in their graves. And for that reason you will serve this time.”
As Suggs left the courtroom after sentencing, he uttered, “They died thieves.”
Suggs’ father, Darren Osborne, 58, of St. Paul, pleaded guilty in Ramsey County District Court last year to aiding an offender by being an accomplice after the fact. He was sentenced in December to four years in prison.
The SUV with the victims’ bodies was found by farmhand Dennis Scheffler Sunday afternoon, Sept. 12, 2021, only a couple hours after Suggs and his father left the scene.
On Sept. 13, a press release was circulated to the media. After the press release was distributed, the Dunn County Sheriff’s Office received a tip from someone who observed two vehicles driven by Black males near the Sheridan Town Hall between 10:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. on Sept. 12. The individual observed one man wearing a shirt that read “I am Black History.”
After receiving the tip, a deputy went to the Bridgestop gas station in Wheeler, about 12 miles south of the crime scene, and reviewed video surveillance footage. Video showed that the operator of a Nissan Rogue, a Black male wearing a “I am black history” shirt, went into the store at 12:08 p.m. and purchased some items. A black Mercedes-Benz SUV pulled into the gas station next to the Nissan. The operator of Nissan made contact with the driver of the Mercedes and appeared to exchange something. The vehicles left northbound on Hwy. 25.
The deputy also found blood on the ground where the SUV was parked.
The Mercedes had Minnesota plates, which were registered to Luxury Auto Sales, LLC. The owners told the court that Suggs paid for half of the cost of the $7,000 vehicle, while they retained the title until the rest was paid.
The Nissan’s plates were registered to a relative of Suggs. On Sept. 13 police in St. Paul observed the vehicle parked near the residence of Darren E. Suggs. While police were watching the vehicle, they observed a female enter the vehicle and drive away. Police conducted a traffic stop and made contact with the occupants. Darren Suggs walked up to the traffic stop and agreed to go to the police station to speak with investigators. He said he has two brothers, one of which is defendant Antoine Suggs, who was visiting from Arizona.
Darren Suggs explained that the Nissan is his mother’s and that she lets Antoine use it when he is in town. He also identified from a photograph of Bridgestop video surveillance the man operating the vehicle was Darren Lee Osborne.
Police also interviewed Flug-Presley’s mother and aunt, who said that she had a “thing” with Antoine Suggs.
Suggs had a nickname of “Tweezey.” Flug-Presley had his phone number under “King Tweezey” and Pettus’ phone had a new contact created at 3:08 a.m. on Sept. 12 as “Tweezey.”
On Sept. 14 police spoke with personnel at the White Squirrel bar in St. Paul. One reported that Flug-Presley purchased a shot of tequila and handed it to Suggs at 1:43 a.m. By 2:08 a.m. all patrons were out of the bar. In street camera footage taken outside the bar showed a dark SUV at 2:08 a.m. The passenger side was open and video shows Sturm running and entering the SUV in the same location in the vehicle where her body was later found.
Other surveillance video in the area showed that the vehicle returned to the White Squirrel around 2:50 a.m. and was parked until 3:30 a.m. Another video at Seventh Street and Walnut Street in St. Paul shows the vehicle again, with the front passenger appearing slumped over.
Police believe the victims were killed between 3:30 and 3:48 a.m.
At 4:30 a.m. Suggs placed a call to his father, Osborne.
Surveillance video recorded the Mercedes and Nissan driving together around 7:42 a.m. Around 10 a.m. cell phone tower data shows Suggs was headed on Hwy. 94 toward Wisconsin. They then left their phones behind in Minnesota, but surveillance video recording the vehicles crossing the Minnesota-Wisconsin border at 10:26 a.m.
Osborne denied knowing there were bodies in the SUV.
Flug-Presley had a gunshot wound that entered her mouth and out the back of her head. Pettus had two gunshot wounds to the back of his head and a third gunshot wound to his left arm. Foreman had a gunshot wound to his face and the top of his head. Sturm had a gunshot wound that went through her left palm and into her face.
Sturm and Pettus were brother and sister, and Foreman was Sturm’s boyfriend, and Flug-Presley was a close friend of Sturm’s.
Investigators also learned that someone purchased a Delta Airlines flight for Antoine Suggs that would have had him departing Phoenix on Sunday, Sept. 12, bound for Minneapolis.
Whoever bought the ticket paid for it less than an hour before departure. An agent with the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension contacted Delta Airline, and the airline confirmed that Suggs never checked in for the flight.
But by some other means Suggs made his way back to Arizona before turning himself in to police.
With 606 days of custody credit, Suggs’ sentence calls for just shy of 68 years in prison and the rest on supervised release. Under Minnesota law, those sent to prison typically serve two-thirds of their sentence in prison and the remaining time on supervised release.
Both Suggs and Osborne have open cases in Dunn County Circuit Court on four counts each of hiding a corpse-as party to a crime. Court records indicate that Osborne must finish serving his sentence in Minnesota before he can be extradited to Wisconsin. Suggs, of course, may not live long enough to complete his sentence.
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