Teen Apologizes to Victim’s Family before Sentencing for Point-Blank Shooting

Minneapolis, Minnesota – Foday Kevin Kamara, who was just 15 at the time, has been sentenced to nearly 12 years in prison for fatally shooting Zaria McKeever, a young mother, in a revenge attack orchestrated by her ex-boyfriend. Kamara, now 17, was handed a 130-month prison term on Wednesday in Hennepin County District Court as part of a plea deal to assist in the prosecution of Erick Haynes, who received a life sentence with a chance of parole after 30 years.

During the sentencing, Paul Grier, McKeever’s father, expressed a desire for justice but also emphasized the importance of not harboring hate in their hearts, as his daughter would not have wanted that. McKeever’s sister, Tiffany Epps, described Zaria as a kind-hearted individual who had shown warmth and hospitality to Kamara, only to tragically become a victim of his violent actions.

Prosecutor Leah Erickson highlighted the unique aspects of Kamara’s sentencing, which includes spending the initial six months in a juvenile facility for appropriate treatment before being transferred to an adult facility with continued participation in the state’s youth offender program to prevent reoffending.

Kamara’s defense team portrayed him as a scared young individual manipulated by McKeever’s ex-boyfriend into committing the crime. Kamara, through his attorney, expressed remorse for his actions, acknowledging that McKeever was a good person who did not deserve to die.

Judge William H. Koch upheld the plea deal, sentencing Kamara to 130 months with credit for time served. He admonished Kamara to make good use of his time in prison and recognize his responsibility for the tragic outcome. Additionally, the judge ordered Kamara to refrain from possessing firearms, ammunition, or explosives for life and to provide a DNA sample for a national database.

The fatal incident occurred in November 2022 when Kamara, at the behest of Haynes, forced his way into McKeever’s apartment and fatally shot her. Kamara claimed that he fired warning shots before shooting McKeever when she allegedly charged at him.

The sentencing serves as a somber reminder of the consequences of gun violence and the lasting impact it can have on families and communities. As Kamara begins his prison term, the hope remains for healing and closure for McKeever’s loved ones while underscoring the importance of accountability and rehabilitation in the criminal justice system.