Father of man accused in quadruple slaying now charged with aiding an offender
The father of Antoine Suggs, the Arizona man accused of killing four Minnesotans and leaving their bodies in an SUV in a Wisconsin cornfield, now faces criminal charges for his alleged actions in the hours after the shootings.
Darren Osborne, 56, was charged in Ramsey County Tuesday with one count of aiding an offender, accomplice after the fact, according to court records. The criminal complaint asserts he provided misleading or false information over a series of interviews with investigators in the days following the shocking Sept. 12 discovery.
Four people from the Twin Cities — Nitosha Lee Flug-Presley, Matthew Isiah Pettus, Loyace Foreman III and Jasmine Christine Sturm — were found dead in a Mercedes-Benz SUV that had been left in a Dunn County, Wisconsin, cornfield.
Prosecutors say Osborne's son, the 38-year-old Suggs, fatally shot all four in the area of Seventh Street in St. Paul, while all of them were in the vehicle. He then drove the SUV to the cornfield 70 miles away, with his father trailing behind in a Nissan Rogue, leaving the bodies to be discovered by a farmer shortly after 2 p.m. that same day.
Authorities say surveillance camera images and video show Osborne in Wisconsin, with the Nissan Rogue and still trailing Suggs in the Mercedes-Benz. Video from a Wheeler, Wisconsin gas station even shows Osborne approach the driver's side window of the Mercedes-Benz at one point, and later shows him standing next to the open passenger side window of the vehicle — where Flug-Presley was slumped over, dead in the seat, with the three other victims in the back seats, according to the charges.
During follow-up interviews with authorities, Osborne did admit that Suggs divulged he'd killed people, and at one point the father told police, “It’s devastating when it’s your own kid,” according to the complaint.
Osborne is in custody, the charges state, in connection with a separate assault case where a man's head was stomped on several times. His first court appearance was Thursday morning. Am omnibus hearing is set for Oct. 28 at 2 p.m.
Osborne, according to the charges, has consistently denied any involvement in the actual killings. But over the course of numerous interviews with investigators, he gave conflicting accounts about what he knew, and when he knew it.
According to the charges:
Dunn County investigators first spoke with Osborne on Sept. 15, three days after the bodies were discovered. At the time, he said he didn't know anything about the killings before agreeing to follow Suggs to Wisconsin, and said he never noticed the bodies in the SUV because its windows were tinted and because he didn't look inside.
In the charges against Suggs, authorities say multiple surveillance cameras were able to capture Flug-Presley visibly slumped over in the Mercedes-Benz at various points along the trip.
Suggs also told investigators his son had come by with his mother, around 5 a.m. on Sept. 12, saying he needed his father's help but that he couldn't ask questions. Osborne followed him around for more than seven hours, he said, believing it was related to a drug deal. He then drove back to Minnesota on his own, with Suggs saying a friend would drive him back to the Twin Cities.
On Sept. 19, Osborne gave a second interview, where his story changed. During this discussion, he admitted Suggs told him he'd killed people in the vehicle while in St. Paul. He also admitted to bringing Suggs back to Minnesota from Wisconsin, and during the trip Suggs cried and apologized, Osborne said. Only upon returning did Osborne learn there were bodies in the SUV his son had abandoned, he said.
It was during this interview that Osborne revealed Suggs told him he "snapped" and had shot a couple of people.
Three days later Osborne asked to speak with investigators again. He showed them where he and Suggs had hidden their phones while driving to Wisconsin, and said Suggs told him he was going to jail for the rest of his life.