The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office announced charges Monday against Cedric Lamont Berry, a 41-year-old drug dealer who murdered Monique Baugh on New Year’s Eve.
A criminal complaint filed against Berry sheds new light on the death of Baugh, a 28-year-old mother of two and real estate agent who was found dead in an alley off of Russel Avenue North in Minneapolis shortly after 6:30 p.m. on December 31.
According to the charges, Berry lured Baugh to a Maple Grove home by pretending to be interested in viewing the house. When Baugh arrived at the home, she was kidnapped and placed in the back of a U-Haul van.
Berry then traveled to a home on Humboldt Avenue North and shot at Baugh’s boyfriend, apparently a rival drug dealer, who was sitting on the steps to the second floor. Berry apparently used a key taken from Baugh to enter the home, where both of her boyfriend’s children were sleeping during the time of the first shooting.
Baugh’s boyfriend was rushed to the hospital and survived his gunshot wounds. The criminal complaint does not explicitly name a motive for the shooting, but states that Baugh’s boyfriend “had recently signed a contract to record rap music and had been flaunting his cash on social media.”
A little more than an hour after the first shooting, Baugh was found dead in alleyway from three bullet wounds and her hands were bound by tape. According to the complaint, the two people who rented the U-Haul van for Berry did so in exchange for heroin.
Berry was arrested around midnight on January 2 and a black mask and 13 baggies of suspected heroin were found in his vehicle. The complaint states that Berry has “an extensive criminal history” and has already served one five-year sentence for manslaughter.
Minneapolis residents were left to clean up a murder scene that was still covered in blood nearly 48 hours after the shooting took place, The Minnesota Sun previously reported.
“I cannot begin to describe how vicious the behavior was in this case,” Hennepin County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement. “We have charged Mr. Berry with setting a trap for Ms. Baugh, assassinating her at close range and shooting at her boyfriend while in the same house with two small children. We are seeking high bail and will do all in our power to prove him guilty.”
Berry has been charged with kidnapping, second-degree murder, and attempted murder and is expected to make his first court appearance Tuesday.
The New Year’s Eve murder of Baugh marked the 48th homicide in Minneapolis in 2019.
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Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of The Minnesota Sun and The Ohio Star. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Image “Cedric Lamont Berry” by AlphaNews and “Police Line” by Tony Webster CC2.0.