ST. PAUL — The Minnesota State Supreme Court has upheld the conviction of a Winona man sentenced to life in prison after he shot and killed one man and injured another outside of a Winona bar.
Ricky Darnell Waiters was sentenced in April 2018 to life in prison after a jury convicted him of two counts of first-degree murder, three counts of second-degree murder and one count each of first-degree assault, second-degree assault and drive-by shooting, all felonies. He also was found guilty of possessing a pistol without a permit, a gross misdemeanor, in Winona County District Court.
The charges stem from a July 2016 incident, when a man, later identified as Waiters, fired six shots from a handgun from inside a car as he drove out of a bar parking lot.
Robert Charles Johnson, 53, of Winona was shot in the torso, and Sean Patrick O’Brien, 27, of Winona, was shot in the leg. Both were transported to Winona Health, where Johnson died from his injuries.
On Wednesday, the Minnesota Supreme Court upheld Waiters' convictions for first-degree felony murder and attempted first-degree felony murder.
In the appeal, Waiters argued that the evidence was insufficient to prove that he discharged a firearm “at or toward” a building or vehicle, which is necessary for a drive-by shooting conviction.