A Rochester man is being held on $10 million bond for his alleged involvement in the March murder of Garad Hassan Roble.
Olmsted County Sheriff Kevin Torgerson and Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem announced Thursday that Muhidin Omar Abukar, 30, had been arrested about 2:30 p.m. Wednesday. He made his first appearance in Olmsted County District Court on Thursday morning on a single charge of aiding/abetting second-degree murder-with intent-not premediated.
Roble, 28, was found by a passing motorist in the pre-dawn hours March 5 on 45th Street Southeast, between St. Bridgets Road Southeast (County Road 20) and Simpson Road (County Road 1). Roble had multiple gunshot wounds, and was determined to have died from those wounds, which included at least one head wound and another to the abdomen, according to court documents.
Investigators with the Olmsted County Sheriff’s Office and the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension located more than a dozen .40-caliber shell casings at the scene, according to court documents.
Law enforcement has not released information concerning a motive other than to say there are groups of “individuals who apparently did not like each other,” according to Ostrem.
Abukar is the second individual arrested in the case. He had been a person of interest since the investigation began, Ostrem said.
Ostrem declined to comment on whether he expected additional arrests or charges. Law enforcement has not publicly identified the shooter in the incident.
“We believe that Mr. Abukar and Mr. Iman, both working together, committed the homicide, and that is what the charge is for,” Ostrem said.
Ayub Abucar Hagi Iman, 23, was arrested in June and charged with aiding/abetting second-degree murder-with intent-not premeditated for his alleged involvement. He is being held on $1 million unconditional bond.
Iman was on pretrial release at the time of the offense.
Chronology of the case
Using surveillance footage from multiple locations, cell data and a number of witness interviews, investigators were able to piece together a brief timeline of where Roble was in the hours before he was found dead.
Roble joined four people — two women, a man and Abukar — at 10:13 p.m. March 4 at The Loop and stayed there until 11:38 p.m., when the group left the restaurant and went into a nearby parking ramp. Roble and the men drove to Meadow Park Apartments, in the 1400 block of Fourth Avenue Southeast, and stayed there from around 11:50 p.m. to 12:34 a.m. March 5.
Leaving The Loop, Roble, “Male Witness 3” and Abukar got into a car and left. The two women got a ride from a service because Abukar was allegedly too drunk and they did not want to ride with him, according to court records.
Before leaving the apartment building, “Male Witness 3” expressed concern about a car parked in the road near the house, court documents state. “Female Witness 2” went and checked the car and found that the driver and sole occupant was Iman. He was engaged in a video call on his cell phone, court records state.
She also reported hearing Roble and Abukar engaged in a conversation. At one point, the witness told police, Roble said, “What are you all going to do, shoot me? Are you going to murder me?,” court documents read.
Roble and Abukar got into Iman’s car and drove away, but not before Abukar gave his phone to “Male Witness 3,” according to court records.
Phone records taken from Iman, Abukar and Roble’s phones helped place the three together at various locations although Abukar’s phone was turned off for a brief period between 2:08 and 2:24 a.m. on March 5. Roble’s phone data showed that he arrived at the spot where he was found dead at approximately 2:14 a.m., according to court records.
On March 6, police executing a search warrant in a separate investigation at the residence of two known associates of Iman found a nylon holster and a Glock brand 15-round magazine in the garbage, according to court documents.
On March 8, Rochester police recovered a Glock handgun that was found on top of the frozen water under a bridge in the 200 block of Elton Hills Drive.
“The magazine in the gun had a distinctive marking of the numbers ‘746’ written with silver ink. Forensic examination of the gun and shell casing found at the scene confirm the gun is the same gun used to shoot the victim,” according to court records.
During his first appearance Thursday morning, Abukar appeared to want to address Judge Joseph Chase but was repeatedly interrupted by the judge every time Abukar tried to answer a question with more than yes or no.
County Attorney Ostrem asked Chase to set unconditional bond at $10 million and to deny conditional bond stating Abukar was a “very high risk for public safety and for flight.”
Abukar was released from state prison on Dec. 31, 2018. He pleaded guilty in October 2013 in Olmsted County District Court to second-degree murder. He was sentenced in January 2010 by Judge Joseph Wieners to 168 months in state prison.
Abukar’s attorney, Joachim Marjon, told Chase that he intended to readdress bail at a later date but noted that while the investigation was occurring Abukar stayed in town the entire time.
Marjon said that Abukar’s family was in the courtroom and that he was not a flight risk.
Chase found the state’s bail request “reasonable” and set unconditional bail at $10 million. Abukar’s next hearing is scheduled for Aug. 27.