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Conviction reversed for alleged ringleader of plot to kidnap and kill Minnesota real estate agent

ST. PAUL, Minn. (AP) — The Minnesota Supreme Court on Wednesday reversed the convictions of the alleged ringleader of a plot to kidnap and kill a real estate agent, marking the second time the high court has ordered a new trial for a defendant convicted in her death.

The justices said that the trial judge gave the jury erroneous legal instructions on the liability of accomplices that might have affected its findings that Lyndon Akeem Wiggins was guilty of first-degree premeditated murder, kidnapping and other counts in the New Year’s Eve 2019 killing of Monique Baugh.

The Supreme Court in January also cited faulty jury instructions when it threw out the convictions of Elsa Segura, a former probation officer. Prosecutors say Segura lured Baugh to a phony home showing in the Minneapolis suburb of Maple Grove, where she was kidnapped.

Baugh was found shot to death in a Minneapolis alley in the early hours of 2020. Prosecutors said she was killed in a complicated scheme aimed at getting revenge against Baugh’s boyfriend, Jon Mitchell-Momoh, a recording artist who had a falling out with Wiggins, a former music business associate of his, who was also a drug dealer. Baugh’s boyfriend, whom Wiggins allegedly considered a snitch, was also shot but survived.

The Supreme Court earlier affirmed the convictions of two other defendants who were accused of kidnapping Baugh. Hennepin County Judge Peter Cahill sentenced all four to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

In its ruling Wednesday, the Supreme Court said the jury instructions for both Wiggins and Baugh, who got separate trials, misstated the law on accomplice liability because the instructions did not specifically require the jury to find either one criminally liable for someone else's actions in order to find them guilty.

“The error was not harmless because it cannot be said beyond a reasonable doubt that the error had no significant impact on the verdict,” the justices wrote. The court ordered a new trial.

However, the justices rejected Wiggins' argument the search warrant for his cellphone lacked probable cause.