Aaron Morrow convicted for AK-47 murder of Joe Rivera, sentenced to life

Aaron Morrow fired 15 shots from his AK-47.
Aaron Morrow fired 15 shots from his AK-47.

Aaron Morrow was convicted yesterday for the September 2010 murder of 21-year-old Joe Rivera.

Morrow, also 21, received a life sentence from the jury, which chose not to believe Morrow's defense: That he'd simply brought an AK-47 into a St. Paul house party to protect his friend.

During the trial, it emerged that Morrow and Rivera had a running dispute, which might have begun when Rivera beat up one of Morrow's friends years before. Whatever started it, Morrow finished it by putting his AK-47 into a black case, and driving to a party where Rivera was hanging out.

When Rivera and two other friends began approaching Morrow's friend, Morrow took out the AK-47. Morrow told the jury that he aimed at Rivera's "center mass, like how they teach you at the [gun] range," the Pioneer Press reports.
The argument that night had been over Morrow's friend, Randy White, who claimed that someone in Rivera's group had stolen his cell phone, the PiPress reports. The other man denied this, and also threatened to beat up White if he continued to ask about it.

White called Morrow, who left his house and his video games to pick up White and remove him from what seemed a dangerous situation. But then Morrow and White circled back to the party, stopping at Morrow's house so he could collect his assault rifle.

White stepped out of the car to retrieve a sweater he'd left behind. At that moment, Rivera and two friends started walking toward White. Morrow said he thought Rivera and his friends might have weapons, but they were later found to be unarmed.

Morrow fired off 15 shots, killing Rivera, and earning himself the life sentence handed down yesterday.

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