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Man gets 16 years for home invasion, shooting

One of three brothers who participated in a July home invasion and shooting was sentenced Thursday to more than 16 years in prison — much longer than either of his brothers, who both took plea bargains in the case.

An Olmsted County jury in March convicted Dion Lavell Abrams, 33, of one count each of aid/abet first-degree aggravated robbery, aid/abet first-degree assault, aid/abet first-degree burglary, aid/abet second-degree assault with a dangerous weapon and being a convicted felon in possession of a firearm.

Abrams and his brothers, Walter James Abrams, 29, of Minneapolis, and Antonyo White, 25, of Rochester were all arrested in the days after the July 22 shooting.

Vondale Lamar Kincaide, 38, the alleged gunman, was also arrested. He hasn't entered a plea in the case, and remains in custody in lieu of $400,000 conditional bail.

White was sentenced in March to 93 months in prison, with credit for 159 days served. Walter Abrams was also sentenced in March to 75 months in prison, with credit for 121 days served.


Before Third Judicial District Judge Ross Leuning handed down the sentence, Dion Abrams spoke for about 10 minutes, essentially arguing that the recommended sentence was unfair.

"I feel like I'm being punished because I went to trial," he said. "They're making me out as this bad dude, and I'm not. I did 15 years (in prison) already, and came out changed. I went to jail when I was 17, got out when I was 33 — I was on the street for 21 days.

"I couldn't know what (Kincaide) was going to do," Abrams said. "I'm not a mind-reader. I understand if I did (the shooting), I'd take my (prison) time, but I didn't do it."

Leuning agreed that "a person shouldn't be punished for going to trial, but if you're found guilty, that doesn't mean you get the benefits of the (plea) deal you turned down, either."

The 195-month sentence for the first-degree assault is an upward departure of 35 months from the maximum guidelines.

The prosecutor requested 240 months, arguing the stronger punishment was warranted for a couple of reasons.

"There were children present," said Pam Larson. "They were coloring in their home, they saw an intruder put a gun to their father's head. … They've been traumatized."

In addition, Abrams was part of a group of three or more who participated in the crime, another factor that meets the criteria for an upward departure.


Both arguments, Leuning said, were valid.

The 195-month term will run concurrently with an 87-month term for the burglary charge and a 60-month term for the firearms charge. Abrams was given credit for 281 days served.

The morning of the shooting, Kincaide was released from Minnesota Correctional Facility-Lino Lakes. Later that day, he attended a barbecue at a home in North Minneapolis.

There, he met up with several people, including the Abrams brothers. The three came to Rochester, where they visited White, the report says, who is an acquaintance of the 30-year-old man who was shot inside the home.

White knew the victim was growing marijuana in his home, and the suspects "hatched a plan to rob him," Capt. John Sherwin said the day after the shooting.

About 6 p.m., Kincaide — who by then had obtained a gun — burst into the home at 3811 14th Ave. NW, where he confronted the victim in the stairwell of the split-level house.

Kincaide demanded drugs, Sherwin said, and ordered the victim to bring his 28-year-old fiancee and three young children downstairs, too.

Kincaide told investigators that when the victim refused and became agitated, he "was afraid of what the victim would do. He didn't want to kill him, but he knew he had to calm (the victim) down, so he shot him in the leg," Sherwin said.


The woman and their children fled and called police. White was the driver of the get-away car.

Dion Abrams picked up two more felonies in September, when authorities say he and his brothers ordered a "hit" on Kincaide. All four were in custody at the ADC.

Kincaide learned about the plan to kill him after a detainee in his housing unit delivered a message — allegedly from Dion Abrams — telling Kincaide "a check would be coming" and Kincaide should be quiet.

Abrams and his brothers were angry, court documents say, because they believed Kincaide "snitched" on them when he admitted to his role in the July robbery and shooting.

According to the criminal complaint, another message was sent Aug. 26, when a second unnamed detainee warned Kincaide that the Gangster Disciples gang had a hit out on him; the detainee claimed Dion Abrams told him about it.

That same day, workers in the ADC laundry reported finding two metal shanks that had come out of the unit that houses Abrams' brothers.

In addition, the detainee told officials, Abrams reportedly said he wanted to find someone to stab Kincaide for snitching. The man claimed he'd heard other detainees affiliated with the Gangster Disciples in their housing unit talking about the threat, too.

A third detainee told investigators that Abrams had told him to pass the word that someone "has to find the big guy Kincaide and poke him up," the documents say.


Kincaide told authorities that Dion and Walter Abrams both have a lot of "street cred" with the Gangster Disciples in the Twin Cities area, and he believes the threat. Kincaide was moved to the Mower County Jail, where he remains.

Dion Abrams said he'd heard the rumors, the complaint says, but denied they were true. The charges were dismissed after his conviction.

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