Emotional Outbursts Erupt from Defendant’s Family As He Pleads Guilty to Murder

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In the midst of starting a jury trial, a homicide defendant’s family member was put out of a courtroom for disrupting court proceedings with emotional outbursts while the defendant took a plea on May 17 before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Jennifer B. Schiffer

Daquan Gilliard and his defense counsel Julie Shapiro, accepted a plea of life, suspending all but 30 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. 

While pleading guilty, Gilliard faced several members of his family, saying “I love yall” as they muffled their tears. 

But, emotional restraint was to difficult for the defendant’s mother as she said her final goodbye before Gilliard was taken away in handcuffs.

“I love you baby,” his mother said in tears as she exited the courtroom. 

Gilliard, 24, was initially charged with first-degree murder, two counts of firearm use in a felony violent crime, two counts of committing a violent crime near a minor, first-degree assault, home invasion, and having a handgun on his person in connection to the murder of 27-year-old Travon Johnson on Aug. 1, 2022. 

According to a news release, on the night of the incident, officers were called to the 2400 block of Kermit Court after receiving reports of a shooting. On arrival, Johnson was found ​​with a fatal gunshot wound to the head. 

Shapiro informed the court she would file a motion to modify the defendant’s sentence. 

Gilliard’s sentencing was scheduled for Aug. 2. 

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