Maplewood man admits Craigslist robbery, murder in St. Paul – St. Paul Pioneer Press

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After admitting to the murder and aggravated robbery of a St. Paul man, Steven E. Lewis told a judge Wednesday that he never meant to shoot him.
Lewis fatally shot Aung Thu Bo, 19, in the head Aug. 10 in an attempt to rob him while pretending to sell him an iPhone through a Craigslist ad. Lewis will be sentenced Sept. 4, said Assistant Ramsey County Attorney Lawrence Schultz. He has four previous felony convictions, including rape and armed robbery.
“I never intended to kill anyone,” Lewis said in Ramsey County District Court. “I never pulled the trigger. I just tapped it and it went off.”
Answering Schultz’s questions, Lewis, 26, of Maplewood, said he had sat in the back of the victim’s white Mitsubishi Lancer and pointed his loaded 9 mm handgun at Aung Thu Bo’s right temple. He wanted only to rob Aung Thu Bo and his girlfriend, he said.
“Give me everything you got,” Lewis said he told Aung Thu Bo. Lewis demanded Aung Thu Bo’s wallet. But Aung Thu Bo said his wallet and money were at a bank, Lewis recalled.
They had met at Leo’s Chow Mein on Hudson Road in St. Paul. Aung Thu Bo had found a Craigslist ad for a $250 iPhone 4S, according to the criminal complaint. He had asked his girlfriend to go with him that afternoon to buy the phone.
Lewis said that when he arrived at the restaurant, he told Aung Thu Bo that he had left the phone and charger at his house. Aung Thu Bo hesitated, but Lewis said that his house was around the corner and that a lot of people were there.
They left the Dayton’s Bluff restaurant and drove three blocks to Cypress Street, where Lewis pulled out the gun and cocked it. After they argued about the money, Lewis demanded everything the couple had.
“He threw the phone back and I jumped, and then he jumped and the gun went off,” Lewis said.
Lewis also shot himself in the forearm. He said he grabbed everything off the back seat and ran, leaving a trail of blood. Police found Lewis’ gun, bloodstained clothes and shoes and a pile of cellphones at a nearby house on Plum Street.
After the hearing, the victim’s father, Win Bo, said through tears, “I wanted to kill him.”
Everyone loved Aung Thu Bo, Win Bo said as he watched a cellphone video of his son dunking a basketball.
“My son was very kind and caring,” he said. “He was always helping his family.”
The Hamline University student was studying computer engineering.
“I keep wishing I could see him again,” Win Bo said. “His mother and I miss him so much.”
Marcella Corona can be reached at 651-228-5556. Follow her at
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