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Conviction overturned for purported mastermind of scheme to abduct and murder Minnesota real estate agent

The Minnesota Supreme Court has overturned the convictions of the alleged mastermind behind a plot to abduct and murder a real estate agent, marking the second instance where the high court has called for a retrial for a defendant implicated in her demise.

The justices determined that the trial judge had provided the jury with inaccurate legal guidance regarding the liability of accomplices, potentially influencing their verdict against Lyndon Akeem Wiggins on charges including first-degree premeditated murder and kidnapping in the killing of Monique Baugh on New Year’s Eve 2019.

This decision follows a similar ruling in January, where the convictions of Elsa Segura, a former probation officer, were overturned due to flawed jury instructions. Prosecutors alleged that Segura enticed Baugh to a fake home showing in Maple Grove, a Minneapolis suburb, where she was subsequently abducted.

Baugh was later discovered fatally shot in a Minneapolis alley in the early hours of 2020. Prosecutors contended that her murder was part of a convoluted scheme to retaliate against her boyfriend, Jon Mitchell-Momoh, a musician who had fallen out with Wiggins, a former business associate in the music industry and alleged drug dealer. Baugh’s boyfriend, whom Wiggins purportedly viewed as an informant, was also shot but survived.

Although the convictions of two other defendants accused of kidnapping Baugh were upheld by the Supreme Court previously, all four defendants were initially sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole by Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill.

In its recent ruling, the Supreme Court highlighted errors in the jury instructions provided for both Wiggins and Baugh, who were tried separately. The court found that the instructions failed to accurately convey the law on accomplice liability, as they did not explicitly require the jury to establish criminal liability for someone else’s actions in order to render a guilty verdict.

“The error was not harmless because it cannot be said beyond a reasonable doubt that the error had no significant impact on the verdict,” the justices stated, ordering a new trial.

However, the justices dismissed Wiggins’ contention that the search warrant for his cellphone lacked probable cause.

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