Charles Frye, implicated in St. Paul murder mystery, shot dead at party

Charles Frye, 39, was shot and killed at a party in St. Paul on Saturday morning.

Charles Frye, 39, was shot and killed at a party in St. Paul on Saturday morning. Ramsey County

Charles Frye, one of two men implicated in the 2017 murder of Carlos Rogers outside Born's Bar in St. Paul, was shot and killed at a party in east St. Paul over the weekend.

Frye and another man were shot early Saturday morning, police confirmed Monday, with cops describing a "chaotic scene involving more than 20 people." Frye was pronounced dead at the scene, and police vehicles transported party attendees to police headquarters for questioning as potential witnesses.

Frye was 39. He and a friend, Justin Reynolds, were captured on surveillance tape outside Rogers' car moments before the shooting, though it was unclear who pulled the trigger. Witnesses to the crime also would not identify who actually shot Rogers.

A messy criminal trial ensued, as told in a recent City Pages cover story. Murder charges against Frye were eventually dropped due to a key witness' being caught for a murder of her own. Reynolds, Frye's friend, tried telling Ramsey County prosecutors it was actually Frye who pulled the trigger, but attorneys resisted, trying him for both murder and aiding and abetting -- as if he might have still been assisting Frye, rather than killing Rogers himself.

The aiding and abetting charge stuck, and after a jury conviction, Reynolds is facing 32 years in prison. (He's appealing.) Frye walked free; it was the third time he'd been arrested or charged with murder, though in each case, charges were either never filed or dismissed.

A daughter of Frye's tells the Pioneer Press he was a loving father and grandfather, and was trying to "do better" with his life. 

“Since I had my baby, that’s [all] he wanted to do was be with his grandbaby every day," Arelia Thompson said of Frye, "and that one day he went outside he gets killed. I’m so hurt.”

Anyone with information on Frye's killing can contact the St. Paul Police Department's homicide unit at 651-266-5650.