Dakota County Attorney Kathy Keena announced that Atravius Joseph Weeks, age 33 of Richfield, MN, was convicted today by a Dakota County Jury of Murder in the First Degree (Domestic Abuse), Murder in the First Degree (Premeditation), and Murder in the Second Degree (Intentional), in connection with the fatal shooting of 29-year-old Cortney Grace Henry outside a daycare facility in Lakeville in the early morning hours of June 22, 2021. The jury deliberated for approximately three hours. Judge Jamie Cork sentenced Weeks to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
On June 22, 2021, around 1:15 a.m., Belle Plaine police officers responded to a report of a violation of an Order for Protection at an apartment complex in Belle Plaine, Minnesota. The reporting party informed officers that her former boyfriend she identified as Atravius Weeks was pounding on the walls outside her building. She reported Weeks had a gun and that she believed she would die if Weeks was able to gain entry. During the 9-1-1 call, the reporting party told dispatch she had just received a message from Weeks in which he indicated he had shot himself.
When officers arrived at the apartment complex, they learned Weeks had arrived in a silver Audi but had just fled on foot. Officers located the vehicle in the parking lot and observed a significant amount of blood inside the vehicle as well as a 9mm casing on the front passenger seat. Officers followed a blood trail to the back entry of the apartment building where they observed that the key card access reader had been pulled away from the wall. Surveillance video was subsequently obtained and showed Weeks attempting to enter the building.
Officers spoke to Weeks by phone, during which he agreed to return to the apartment complex parking lot. While walking towards the parking lot, officers observed Weeks carrying a firearm. Weeks complied with their commands to drop the firearm which was later identified as a Glock 9mm handgun. Officers observed a wound on Week's forehead which Weeks reported was the result of a self-inflicted gunshot. While treating the wound, Weeks told the officers, “I just killed my best friend". Weeks went on to tell the officers that about an hour prior he had shot the victim seven times outside of a daycare facility located in Lakeville. When asked for the name of the victim, Weeks responded “Cortney Henry."
Officers located a deceased female outside a Lakeville daycare facility as well as nine shell casings. The victim was identified as Cortney Henry who appeared to have been shot multiple times including in the left leg, thigh, stomach, and neck.
Additional facts pertaining to this case can be found in the criminal complaint at Criminal Complaint Search. A previous news release can be viewed at County Attorney News Releases. While in custody, a mug shot can be viewed at Inmate Search.
Keena commented: “I wish to thank the jury for its verdicts ensuring Mr. Weeks will be held accountable for his heinous act. My deepest sympathy is extended to the family and friends of Ms. Henry for their great loss."
Keena praised Cheri Townsend, Criminal Division Head and Mary Russell, Assistant County Attorney who prosecuted the case. Keena thanked the Belle Plaine Police Department, Jordan Police Department, Lakeville Police Department, and the Scott County Sheriff's Office for their contribution to this case. Keena also thanked the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension and the Hennepin County Medical Examiner's Office for their assistance in the investigation.
If you have questions, contact Kathy Keena at 651-438-4440.