Former North Dakota player convicted of murder

Published 9:45am Friday, August 15, 2014

MINNEAPOLIS — A man who played college football in North Dakota has been convicted of killing one man and wounding another outside a Minneapolis club last fall.

A Hennepin County jury convicted Cedric Chappell Jr. on Thursday of murder and attempted murder. He’s scheduled to be sentenced Sept. 11.

The 22-year-old played football at Valley City State University in Valley City, N.D.

He was charged in connection with an October gunfight outside the Blue Nile restaurant and bar in Valley City. Prosecutors said an argument broke out between two gangs, and 35 shots were fired.

Twenty-two-year-old Willie Smith of St. Paul died, and another man was shot in the leg. Chappell acknowledged to investigators that he shot both men.

Prosecutors said they’ll seek a sentence of 30 to 45 years.