Five men face second-degree murder charges in connection with the murder of a 32-year-old Elliot Park woman in her apartment in November -- the first homicide in the state connected to the drug khat -- a Kenyan plant that is chewed for its stimulating effect -- according to the Hennepin County Attorney's Office.
Yasmin Ali Geele was shot in the head Nov. 9 after the men allegedly tried to rob her in her apartment at the Adams Apartments, 500 S. 10th St., according to the criminal complaint filed Nov. 29.
The men facing murder charges include Abdisalam Abdinassir Hussein, 28, of St. Louis Park; Fuad Mohamed Dhuuh, 22, of Burnsville; Abdisalam London Roble, 19, of Brooklyn Park; Abdisalan Mohamed Abdi, 22, of Minneapolis; and Ismail Mohamed Ali, 20, of Minneapolis.
Hennepin County Attorney Amy Klobuchar said evidence suggests Ali pulled the trigger but said all of the men face murder charges because "they participated in the robbery attempt that led to the shooting."
According to the criminal complaint, a witness who told police she was in Geele's apartment at the time of the murder said the apartment was being used to sell khat.
The men came to the apartment earlier in the evening to talk about a potential khat sale and later returned brandishing a gun and demanding the drug and money. Geele was shot before she could hand over anything to the defendants, according to the complaint.
"While many murders are connected to the illegal drug trade, this is the first murder case we know of in Minnesota where khat was involved. Whatever the drug, the message is the same: Wherever you find illegal drugs, you'll also find people with guns who are greedy," Klobuchar said.
According to police, Geele's murder is the fourth Downtown in 2004. According to civilian Crime-Prevention Specialist Luther Krueger, in all four cases, arrests were made, and the alleged assailants and victims knew each other