St. Paul man pleads guilty to federal arson charges in Minneapolis PD 3rd Precinct fire

A St. Paul, Minnesota man pleaded guilty Friday to federal arson charges for his role in torching the Minneapolis Police Department’s Third Precinct following the deadly arrest of George Floyd last May.  

In a virtual hearing, 25-year-old Davon De-Andre Turner admitted he and other demonstrators lit the precinct on fire during the unrest in the wake of Floyd’s death. Turner told the judge he entered the building illegally and threw a lit Molotov cocktail on the ground.

Sentencing guidelines call for a sentence of between 41 and 51 months of prison time, or about 4 years. However, the judge will have the final discretion.

Turner is not currently in custody. His sentencing is scheduled for May.

Turner is the fourth defendant indicted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office to plead guilty for their role in burning the precinct building. 

Prosecutors alleged in court that damages from fire totaled $12 million. 

U.S. Attorney Erica MacDonald promised her office is not done pursuing charges in the fires that destroyed the Third Precinct. 

"The message needs to be clear, you may not engage in violent and destructive behavior in our city," MacDonald said. "We will not tolerate it. We will make sure our citizens are protected at all costs."

MacDonald reports investigators continue to search for additional suspects.

"As you know, hundreds of people were involved," she said. Not just four people responsible for the destruction. We continue to press forward and welcome the public in any information they may have."

The Third Precinct remains fenced off and boarded up. The police department is still working out of a temporary site, although they recently moved out of the Minneapolis Convention Center into a new building downtown. 

The police department continues to search for a permanent home for the Third Precinct. An MPD spokesperson told FOX 9 the department believes it is best for the police to be located directly within the community it is trying to serve and protect, although prior relocation efforts were met with strong opposition. 

Prosecutors alleged in court that damages from fire totaled $12 million.