Minneapolis man sentenced to 32 years for killing St. Paul grandmother

·2 min read

Jan. 12—A Minneapolis man was sentenced Wednesday to 32 and a half years for shooting and killing a grandmother in St. Paul in 2020.

Christopher Malik Todd, 21, will serve 21 and a half years in prison and about 11 years on supervised release. He was granted custody credit for the 510 days he's spent in jail awaiting sentencing. On July 6, 2021 he pleaded guilty to second-degree intentional murder.

Due to Todd's lengthy criminal history — including Hennepin County cases for a drive-by shooting and second-degree murder — and the heinous nature of the shooting, Ramsey County prosecutor Dawn Bakst asked Ramsey County District Court Judge Nicole Starr for the highest sentence possible. Starr agreed.

When asked if he would like to say something, Todd, who appeared via Zoom from jail, mumbled something unintelligible. Starr gave him an opportunity to say more, or repeat his statement, but he declined.

His attorney, Aaron Haddorff, spoke for him.

"Mr. Todd has asked me to express his condolences to the family of the victim," he said. "He has taken responsibility for his actions by pleading guilty and providing the court the factual basis for this offense."

Starr was hoping for more.

"It is disheartening and difficult to hear that your condolences are the only expression of remorse that you seem to have in this matter," Starr said. "It is a terrible crime. And deeply saddening to think of this woman sitting in the back of her lawn on a nice August day, talking on the phone to somebody and just the horror of having a phone call end and basically going dead when you shot her and killed her....This seems like a crime with no reason."

Teresa Bear Ribs was caring for her young grandchildren at a Dayton's Bluff home on Aug. 19, 2020 and talking on the phone to her husband when Todd approached and shot her in the head.

Bear Ribs' husband heard her say, "What are you doing? Why are you here?" and then the call suddenly ended, according to the complaint. Bear Ribs' daughter found her mother after receiving an urgent call from the husband asking for a welfare check.

Initial speculation was that the shooting may have been gang-related and meant to be a retaliatory strike against a family member related to Bear Ribs. However, Todd has not given a reason.

The sentencing was brief, as there were none of the usual victim impact statements offered.

"The lack of input from the family in this case, is not a lack of interest," Bakst said. "It is because they are too devastated to participate in the proceedings."

Besides prison and probation, Todd also must pay $2,480 in restitution for Bear Ribs' funeral costs. The money will be garnished from his prison wages, Starr said.

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