A man with a history of violent crimes allegedly abducted and killed a young real estate agent and mother of two little girls in Minneapolis on New Year’s Eve.
Cedric L. Berry was charged with second-degree murder with intent, second-degree attempted murder with intent, and kidnapping in connection with the death of Monique Baugh, a 28-year-old real estate agent, and wounding her boyfriend, the Star Tribune reports.
According to charges filed Monday (Jan. 6), the 41-year-old man reportedly lured Baugh to a Maple Grove home she was showing so he could abduct and kill her with a gunshot to the head, the Star Tribune reports.
Police suspect, Baugh was kidnapped and driven in a rental truck to Minneapolis, where she was found shot in an alley in the 1300 block of N. Russell Avenue.
“I cannot begin to describe how vicious the behavior was in this case,” County Attorney Mike Freeman said in a statement, the Star Tribune reports. “We have charged Mr. Berry with setting a trap for Ms. Baugh, assassinating her at close range and shooting at her boyfriend while in [a] house with two small children. We are seeking high bail and will do all in our power to prove him guilty.”
During a court appearance on Tuesday (Jan. 7), Berry declared his innocence through his defense attorney, Tanya Bishop, and unsuccessfully sought a massive reduction in bail, the Star Tribune reports.
Bishop asked Hennepin County District Judge Peter Cahill to reduce Berry’s $2 million bail to a “reasonable” $500,000 bond, the Star Tribune reports.
Bishop also told Cahill that Berry has lived in the Twin Cities for more than 30 years and has 25-year-old twin sons, a 17-year-old son, and has held the same job for three years, which he could likely return to if he bonded out of jail, the Star Tribune reports.
Cahill supported a prosecutor’s argument that Berry didn’t deserve leniency, kept his bail at $2 million and told him, “I do find that you are an extreme threat to public safety,” the Star Tribune reports.
Berry is accused of kidnapping the 28-year-old mother of two from a Maple Grove home she was showing. He allegedly transported her in a U-Haul rental truck to a north Minneapolis alley where he reportedly shot her several times at close range, the Star Tribune reports.
According to charges, moments earlier, a masked Berry entered Baugh’s north Minneapolis house in the 4800 block of Humboldt Ave. N. and shot her boyfriend several times while the couple’s young daughters were home.
Baugh’s boyfriend, a rapper by the name “Momoh,” survived the shooting, the Star Tribune reports.
“I am dead already!” the boyfriend said, according to charges, the Star Tribune reports. “My babies are here!”
Berry has a lengthy criminal record, which includes a 2001 conviction for second-degree murder, as well as two convictions for fifth-degree drug possession and a pending case for the same offense, the Star Tribune reports.
Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Judith Cole said that drugs appeared to be Berry’s “business,” the Star Tribune reports.
Charging documents did not specify a motive, but noted that “Momoh” had recently signed a music contract and “had been flaunting his cash on social media,” the Star Tribune reports.
Two search warrant affidavits filed in Baugh’s killing said Berry was a drug dealer and rival to Baugh’s boyfriend, the Star Tribune reports.
The Kris Lindahl Real Estate agency, which Baugh worked for, started an online fundraising effort on behalf of Baugh’s survivors and pledged to match the first $10,000 in donations.
“The world lost someone amazing when Monique Baugh passed away on December 31,” the company wrote on the gofundme page. “Monique was a beautiful person who was kind and compassionate. She made an impact on everyone she met. She was very driven and a joy to be around. Monique leaves behind two young girls, ages 1 and 3. She was a loving mother who always put her daughters first.”
Frank Baugh, the victim’s father, has also organized a fundraiser, the Star Tribune reports.
“I have set up this fund to help support my 2 precious granddaughters age 1 and 3 with everyday expenses who’s mother was tragically taken from them,” Frank Baugh wrote on his daughter’s fundraising page. “I will be the one caring for my granddaughters.”
Mr. Baugh described Monique as “a young kind loving beautiful mother, daughter and had a blossoming real estate career and her daughter’s were her world!”