Robert Shelby and Semaj Williams charged in murder of Shea Stremcha

Shelby and Williams face a sentence of up to 40 years in prison.

Shelby and Williams face a sentence of up to 40 years in prison.

Robert Shelby and Semaj Williams broke into Shea Stremcha's house and shot him to death after he confronted them with a knife, according to a complaint filed  by the Hennepin County Attorney's office yesterday.

Shelby and Wiliams are charged with second-degree murder and first-degree burglary as a result of the break-in that left Stremcha, 25, bleeding to death in the hallway outside his own bedroom in the early morning hours of July 20.

Stremcha and his girlfriend were sleeping when she heard a window break at around 3 a.m. and woke him up, according to the complaint. Stremcha grabbed a knife that was near the bed, and left the bedroom to investigate. His girlfriend heard a gunshot and saw Stremcha fall in the hallway, bleeding from his chest.


Stremcha apparently got off one swing with the knife that led to his killers' arrest: when Shelby, 27, was arrested on an unrelated warrant arrest later that night, a bandage covered a deep cut on his left hand. Shelby's blood matched a blood trail that started inside Stremcha's house and led investigators down a back alley.

Williams, 21, was linked to the murder through a fingerprint he left inside Stremcha's house. He first told police he'd been with Shelby earlier that night, but his explanations for how his fingerprint got inside a dead man's home disintegrated and he too was charged with murder.

Second-degree murder carries a maximum sentence of 40 years in prison. First-degree burglary has a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison or a $35,000 fine.

Williams and Shelby are each held in Hennepin County Jail with a conditional $1 million bail.