Suspect pleads not guilty to attempted murder

Published 9:45 am Friday, April 22, 2011

The man accused of pulling the trigger in a March shooting pleaded not guilty to attempted first-degree murder Thursday in Mower County Court.

Mongong Kual Maniang Deng, 20, of Rochester, pleaded not guilty to three other felony charges: first-degree assault, first-degree burglary and first-degree aggravated robbery.

Two other men allegedly involved already entered their pleas. Ojulu Obang Onyongo, 20, pleaded not guilty to all three charges against him. Kevin Michael Lyke, 20, the getaway driver, entered a plea agreement that dropped two of his charges.

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The attempted robbery occurred Monday, March 28, around 7:15 p.m. at 200 First St. SE. According to a court complaint, the victim heard a knock on his apartment door and found a man believed to be Deng standing in the hall with a 12-gauge shotgun. Deng allegedly pointed the gun at his head and demanded money and “everything that was there.”

The victim’s two children — ages 5 and 7 — reportedly witnessed the robbery. The man told police he was afraid the suspect would shoot one of the children, so he grabbed the gun and a struggle ensued. Deng allegedly told the man, “Friend, give me your money, otherwise you’re dead.”

The man told his children to run to the basement, at which point Deng allegedly pointed the gun at the victim’s stomach. At some point the gun was fired, hitting the man in the upper leg area. The court report also states one of the man’s fingertips was shot off.

According to court documents, Lyke agreed to give Deng a ride to the location. Onyongo told police he agreed to go with after the two men offered him a cigarette.

After dropping off Deng, Onyongo got out of the car and began walking in the opposite direction, he told officers. He said he walked back to the old Downtown Motel, but Lyke and Deng didn’t return until almost 8:30 p.m.

Both Deng and Onyongo are scheduled for jury trials beginning July 11. Lyke is scheduled for sentencing June 17.