McGruder gets over 30 years in prison for the shooting death of TyEsha Gills

Published 3:25 pm Friday, May 3, 2024

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Me’Darian Ledale McGruder, who was convicted of killing 20-year-old TyEsha Gills in 2021, will spend over 30 years in prison after he was sentenced Friday in Mower County District Court.

McGruder was sentenced to 386 months, or just over 32 years in prison for felony second degree murder with intent, along with an additional 60 months for being a violent felon in possession of a firearm. The sentences are to run concurrently.

He must also pay $6,482.23 in restitution. 

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McGruder was given credit for 974 days served.

McGruder was convicted in February of this year after he was found guilty on five felony counts following a nearly two-week trial. On Friday the three remaining charges of second degree manslaughter, domestic assault and another count of second degree murder were not adjudicated because they are lesser offenses.

During the February trial, testimony by Dr. Reade Quinton was able to show that Gills’ death came as a result of a gunshot at close range that caused damage to the organs as the bullet passed through her body. Gills was pronounced dead a little before 3 a.m. on July 31, 2021 at Mayo Clinic Health Systems-Austin.

McGruder, claimed the shooting was an accident and that Gills lunged at him several times with a stun gun the night she was killed and that the gun he was holding went off when jumping to avoid her lunges.

Gills’ cousin Kiara testified to hearing McGruder tell Gills, “If you tase me, I’m going to pop you.” This was followed by McGruder taking the weapon out of his waistband,  chambering a shell and holding it at his side. Kiara also testified to hearing Gills say, “I can’t believe you just shot me” after she was shot. McGruder then fled the house.

In his decision, Judge Jeffrey Krtizer said that McGruder’s actions involving the shooting did not reflect an accidental shooting as McGruder claimed, including taking any other measures to ensure the gun was safely stored or where his finger was when handling the gun.