Sitting in an empty courtroom at the Scott County Government Center in Shakopee, Brandy Lee Jaques was visibly upset.
Her family was nowhere to be found — and the court had already waited more than 20 minutes for them to arrive. With a look of empathy on her face, Judge Ann Offerman told Jaques she waited as long as she thought was appropriate before starting proceedings. A court official brought a box of tissues to the table where Jaques sat.
With just her lawyer by her side, Jaques, 40, pleaded guilty in Scott County District Court to second-degree murder with intent, not premeditated, in the death of James Wayne Herron of Prior Lake during a contested omnibus hearing Nov. 15.
Jaques was one of four people arrested and charged with the man’s murder.
According to criminal complaints, four people went to Herron’s home on the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community reservation around 2 a.m. Nov. 23, 2016 to buy marijuana before robbing him and other occupants of his home. Herron was shot during the robbery and died of multiple gunshot wounds at St. Francis Regional Medical Center later that morning.
Jonte Glenn Robinson, 27, fled on foot after the shooting, while suspects Tyrel Lamar Patterson, 28; Derrick Zechariah Smith, 29, and Jaques, all of Minneapolis, fled the scene in a vehicle. A high-speed police chase along Highway 169 ended when police forced the vehicle off the road at the Londonderry/Bren Road exit. When the suspects ran from the vehicle, Smith allegedly shot at an Eden Prairie police officer.
According to police, during interviews after the arrests, officers asked Robinson if he saw who had shot Herron, and he said at first he thought it was Smith, but then thought it