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Charges: Botched drug deal led to teen's 'senselesss' fatal hit-and-run in Minn.

Loren Gafner

ANDOVER, Minn.—A botched drug deal led to the hit-and-run death of a 17-year-old boy in Andover north of the Twin Cities last Friday night, charges say.

Three teenagers who had arranged to buy marijuana from Tristan Robinson are accused of trying to steal the drugs and fatally striking Robinson with their car when he tried to stop them, according to criminal complaints filed Wednesday in Anoka County District Court.

Jaden Meadows, 16, of Andover; 17-year-old Daveion Maddox of St. Francis; and 19-year-old Loren Gafner of St. Francis each face one count of second-degree murder. Gafner, who was allegedly driving the car that killed Robinson, was also charged with criminal vehicular homicide.

"A family has to bury a son because of the foolish acts of young people — over drugs and money," Anoka County Attorney Tony Palumbo said in a news release. "This was senseless. For the potential gain of so little, the loss and consequences are substantial and will affect many people for the rest of their lives."

Meadows and Maddox were charged as juveniles, but Palumbo's office has filed a motion to have them tried as adults, the news release said. At Gafner's initial court appearance on Wednesday, Anoka County District Judge Jenny Walker Jasper set his bail at $1 million.

Robinson was playing video games on Friday afternoon at the home of a friend, who is identified in court documents by the initials "T.P.," when they decided to offer some marijuana for sale on Snapchat, the charges say.

Later that evening, Maddox, Meadows and Gafner agreed to meet the pair near T.P.'s house to buy the marijuana, but they planned to steal the drugs rather than pay for them, according to court documents.

When the teens met up to complete the sale, the three buyers told Robinson and T.P. that they didn't have enough money for all of the marijuana, so T.P. took the group back to his house to remove some from the bag, court documents say. While they were inside, Meadows allegedly grabbed the bag and ran back to Gafner's car, which was waiting in the driveway.

Robinson chased Meadows outside and grabbed the handle of the car door, the charges say. As Maddox drew a handgun and pointed it at Robinson, Gafner put the car into reverse and backed out the the driveway, knocking Robinson to the ground, according to court documents.

Meadows later told police that, as they drove away, he heard "heard multiple thumps, and believed (Robinson) went under both the front and back wheels of Loren's car," the charges say, adding that Meadows "looked back and saw (Robinson) on the road in a fetal position, not moving. Loren and Daveion were laughing about this."

Meadows told police that Maddox and Gafner threatened to kill him if he told anyone what happened, according to court documents.

Anoka County sheriff's deputies, who responded to 911 calls at T.P.'s house about 6:20 p.m., found Robinson lying in the street. He was pronounced dead at the scene. All three suspects were apprehended over the next three days.

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