Rochester man takes plea deal, says co-conspirator pulled the trigger in 2019 murder

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(ABC 6 News) – A Rochester man facing a 2nd murder trial for his involvement in a fatal 2019 shooting has pleaded guilty.

Jury selection was scheduled to begin Monday in 33-year-old Muhidin Abukar’s 2nd trial. Instead, court records show he pleaded guilty to Murder in the Second Degree, Intentional, without Premeditation.

Abukar’s charge stems from the shooting death of Garad Roble, whose body was discovered by a motorist on March 5, 2019, on the 2300 block of 4th St. SE in Rochester.

Abukar’s first jury trial was in December, 2021 and ended with a mistrial after 18 hours of jury deliberations.

Abukar’s co-conspirator in the case, Ayub Iman, was found guilty of 2nd-degree murder aiding and abetting in April. Iman’s sentencing is scheduled for June 2.

A press release from the Olmsted County Attorney’s Office states:

"A plea of guilty has been entered in the Garad Roble homicide case. Muhidin Omar Abukar entered a plea of guilty to Murder in the Second Degree, Unintentional, without Premeditation, Aiding and Abetting another. Abukar has been charged with Murder in the Second Degree, Intentional, without Premeditation. The agreement was reached during jury selection today. The parties agreed that Mr. Abukar will receive an executed sentence of 166 months.

Abukar admitted that he was with Mr. Roble during the evening of March 4, 2019. Abukar and Garad Roble were with others downtown Rochester. Later in the evening/early morning of March 5, Abukar called Ayub Iman to pick them up. Mr. Iman, Mr. Abukar and Mr. Roble drove to a rural area south of Rochester. Mr. Iman was the driver and took them to the rural setting and stopped. Mr. Iman and Mr. Roble got out and Mr. Abukar heard gunfire. Mr. Iman got back into the car and the two left the scene.

Mr. Iman and Mr. [Abukar] drove to NW Rochester where Mr. Iman dropped Abukar off. Mr. Abukar cleaned the gun and then went to the Elton bridge and tossed it off the bridge. Mr. Abukar agreed that he knew something was going to happen. On the drive over, Mr. Abukar shut off his cell phone to avoid detection. He turned it back on during the drive back into Rochester.

Olmsted County Attorney Mark Ostrem commented, "No verdict or plea can mend the hole in the hear of the family of Garad Roble. This plea gave the family and law enforcement some closure and a better understanding of how Garad died. But we will never understand why.:

Sentencing has been scheduled for June 23, 2022."