2021 Kermit Court Homicide Defendant Fires Attorney Before Receiving Life Sentence

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Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Jennifer B. Schiffer sentenced a man convicted of murdering his ex-girlfriend’s boyfriend, Trevon Jonson, after he fired his attorney during the sentencing hearing on Aug. 2.

On May 17, Daquan Gilliard accepted a plea of life, suspending all but 30 to 50 years for first-degree murder and a concurrent 20 years with the first five years without the possibility of parole for the use of a firearm during a felony violent crime in connection with the 2022 homicide. 

Defense attorney Amy Shapiro discussed Gilliard’s childhood troubles and exposure to violence. She stated that Gilliard was stabbed while incarcerated in September and later attacked by four other inmates. 

Judge Schiffer rejected a motion to dismiss the plea deal made by Shapiro. Gilliard, 25, said he accepted the plea offer because he was scared and blamed the decision on ineffective counsel.

“I don’t deserve this,” said Gilliard. He addressed Judge Schiffer, saying that the whole story hadn’t been told. Gilliard then fired his lawyer. He also highlighted that he had no prior criminal record. 

Judge Schiffer acknowledged that this was the defendant’s first offense by saying, “What a way to start.”

Schiffer sentenced Gilliard to life, suspending all but 50 years and five years of supervised probation for first-degree murder to be served concurrently with 20 years for firearm use in a felony violent crime, the first five years without the possibility of parole.

Many of Jonson’s family members appeared in court to speak about him. The mother of his child said that all her child has left of his father are pictures. Jonson’s brother said he forgave Gilliard.

Gilliard’s mother asked the victim’s family to forgive her son. A bishop who thought of Gilliard as his grandson spoke during the hearing, describing him as a good young man and very respectful. Gilliard’s younger brother also said, “He’s not a bad person.” A family friend stated that Gilliard has never been violent and that he would trade places with him if given the choice.  

“It’s impossible to reconcile the person you claim to be with what happened in this case,” said Judge Schiffer. 

According to charging documents, on Aug. 1, 2021, police officers were called to the 2400 block of Kermit Court for a shooting. Upon arrival, police officers located 28-year-old Jonson suffering from a gunshot wound to the head. An investigation determined that Gilliard had broken into his ex-girlfriend’s house, pushed her into a wall, and then shot Jonson before fleeing.

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