Murder suspect pleads not guilty to felony charges

Published 7:08 pm Friday, October 29, 2021

The suspect in the July 31 shooting death of 20-year-old Tyesha Tahne Gills has entered pleas to three felony counts in the case.

Me’Darian Ledale McGruder, 27

Me’Darian Ledale McGruder, 27, pleaded not guilty to second degree murder with intent, second degree murder without intent while committing a felony and violent felon in possession of a firearm in Mower County District Court Thursday.

A pre-trial date of April 29, 2022, has been set with a jury trial scheduled for May 9, 2022.

At just before 2 p.m. on July 31, Austin police responded to a home in the 100 block of 10th St. NW for a report of an individual who had been shot.

According to court documents, when police arrived they found Gills laying in the middle of the living room with blood on her neck and chest. Police attempted to control the bleeding and she was eventually transferred to Mayo Clinic Health System-Austin, where she was pronounced dead.

It was later determined that Gills had been shot in the chest.

A witness at the scene identified McGruder, nicknamed “Solid,” as the shooter and showed a detective a picture of him from Facebook, who the detective recognized.

McGruder had fled the scene, but was eventually taken into custody on Sept. 3.

— Michael Stoll contributed to this story