Man sentenced to 35 years for U football player’s murder

Jermaine Stansberry was sentenced to 35 years and two months in prison Thursday for the September 2002 murder of University football player Brandon Hall.

Stansberry was also ordered to pay $9,075 to cover Hall’s funeral costs and teammate Damian Haye’s hospital bills. Haye was injured during the robbery that led to Hall’s death.

Assistant Hennepin County Attorney Robert Streitz said the sentence was in line with state guidelines for aggravated robbery.

In July, a Hennepin County court found Stansberry guilty of second-degree murder, first-degree aggravated robbery and illegally possessing a firearm.

Hall’s lawyer, friends and family said they were pleased with the sentence.

“It doesn’t bring Brandon back,” said an unnamed representative of Hall’s mother, Dorothy Hall, who was unable to attend the sentencing.

Stansberry, however, maintained his innocence. In his final words in court, he pleaded for one last chance to prove he did not kill Hall and said Raymond Hardimon Jr. killed the player. Hardimon pleaded guilty in April to aggravated assault charges stemming from the evening.

“I did not kill this man, and I want the truth to come out,” Stansberry said.

According to police and court documents, Hall was shot after a confrontation between Hardimon, Stansberry and Haye in Minneapolis. The melee began at approximately 1:30 a.m. Sept. 1, 2002, when Haye – a former University football player – got involved in a dispute between two people near Fourth Street South and First Avenue South in Minneapolis. Haye said he told Hardimon to calm down but was attacked, beaten and robbed.

After the beating and robbery, several University football players confronted the robbers. The situation escalated into a fight. Police used Mace to break up the incident.

At approximately 2:30 a.m., Stansberry, Hardimon and other individuals confronted the University players again.

The players – including Hall – were walking along Third Street South and Hennepin Avenue South when, as former player Jason Green testified, he saw Hardimon and Stansberry reach under the seats of a white minivan. Green said he suspected they were reaching for weapons and told players to run.

Shortly after, a bullet struck Hall, puncturing his left shoulder, lungs and heart.