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River Falls woman sentenced to 12 years for unintentional murder of St. Paul man struck by gunfire aimed for someone else

A River Falls, Wis., woman was sentenced to more than a decade in prison for unintentionally killing a St. Paul man outside his home last fall during an altercation she was having with another woman.

Ramsey County District Judge Sarah Grewing Wednesday sentenced Denise Chanel White, 28, to twelve and a half years in prison on one count of second-degree murder while committing a felony in the death of Dawahn Littles.

The hearing came more than two months after White pleaded guilty to the count.

Her attorney, Marcus Almon, reiterated after the hearing that his client never meant to kill Littles and said she apologized for what happened to his family members, several of whom attended her sentencing Wednesday morning.

“She showed a great deal of remorse for her actions, which she has always done,” Almon said. “That’s the reason she turned herself in and faced the consequences.”

Littles and others were gathered outside his home on Dale Street during the early morning last October when he was hit by bullets, according to his brother’s statement to police.

His brother heard him yell, “I’m hit,” just before White fled the scene holding a small handgun, court documents say.

Littles died at St. Paul’s Region’s Hospital later that morning.

The incident occurred about 5 a.m. last Oct. 21 after Littles reportedly had people back to his place in the 600 block of Dale Street after bar closing.

The gathering spilled onto the streets and an altercation broke out.

At some point, White got into an argument with another woman, who eventually pulled out a gun, Almon said.

That’s when his client pulled out her own handgun and the two started firing at each other, Almon said.

During the exchange, White unintentionally struck Littles, he said.Shortly thereafter, White showed up at an acquaintance’s house holding the gun, legal documents say.

The woman’s brother let her inside, where she reportedly sat on the couch and repeatedly said, “I shot him,” according to the man’s statement to investigators.

The murder conviction will be the first felony on White’s criminal record.

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