Two women who previously pleaded guilty to killing a Minnesota man during an attempted drug robbery were released from prison last week after their sentences were reduced under a new state redefinition of complicity in murder.
Megan Cater and Briana Martinson were charged in the 2017 murder of Corey Elder, 19, in Bloomington, Fox Minneapolis reported. The murder was motivated by an attempt to steal pills from the victim.
The couple broke into Elder’s apartment on April 27, 2017, along with two other people. Cater and Martinson ransacked the home while the other two suspects violently assaulted Elder before shooting him, authorities said.
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The two women were each sentenced to 13.5 years in prison after reaching plea deals to avoid life in prison. However, state lawmakers recently redefined aiding and abetting murder laws, meaning only those who directly commit a murder or directly assist in a murder can be charged with the crime.
The new law can be applied retroactively to people already incarcerated.
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Cater and Martinson were sentenced for less than aiding and abetting first-degree burglary crimes after Elder’s family provided a victim impact statement to the court. Cater received over 5 years. She had already served more than six years.
Martinson’s sentence was reduced to nearly five years after serving more than six years. Both women were released from prison that day. Their release was initially scheduled for fall 2026.
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“We are grateful that Minnesota lawmakers have given Megan Cater this second chance to reenter society,” said Cater’s attorney, JaneAnne Murray. “There are too many people serving long sentences in Minnesota prisons, which does not reflect their lesser, less culpable role in their crimes.”
Martinson’s attorney, Bradford Colbert, said that while his client “did not play a role in the tragic death that occurred, she understands the severity of the loss and the trauma that night caused her so many people.”
Hennepin County Prosecutor Mary Moriarty, whose office supported the request for resentencing, told the news outlet that the new law is an effort to ensure that primary participants in a murder face the harshest consequences.
“We’re not talking about people being innocent of everything. We recognize exactly the role they played,” she said. “The court makes the final decision, and in this case it chose to re-sentence these women for what they actually did.”
Bobbie Elder, Corey’s mother, said the family believes the criminal justice system failed their son.
“While this change in the law has its time and place to be justified, this case is not one of them. Megan Cater and Brianna Martinson were the masterminds behind the events that led to the murder of my son, Corey Elder,” she declared. “
“They were the ones who developed and organized the whole plan, including making sure there was a gun,” she added. “They have convinced themselves and their families of a false narrative that portrays them as victims, which is the opposite of the facts.”
In total, six people were convicted of Elder’s murder.
Original article source: Minnesota women convicted of murder have been released from prison early due to a new law change.