Judge Sentences 24-year-old Homicide Defendant To Life Plus 22 Years in Prison

Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Kendra Y. Ausby sentenced 24-year-old Danjuan McBride to life in prison for the murder of Tavonte Briggs

On March 21, the defendant was found guilty of first-degree murder, second-degree murder, the use of a firearm during a violent crime, and the possession of a firearm with a prior felony conviction.

Prior to sentencing, defense attorney James Scott motioned for a retrial on the grounds that the defendant did not receive due process. The officer involved in obtaining the firearm used in the crime lied to the jury about the specifics of finding the firearm, the jury violated the verdict sheet by finding the defendant guilty of first and second-degree murder despite there being a single victim, and officers did not investigate his alibi. 

The prosecutor said due process was not violated. There was sufficient evidence, including the defendant’s mother’s telling officers that McBride confessed to the murder, which was presented to the jury to charge the defendant, he said.

The prosecutor also said officers have no obligation to investigate alibi defenses. 

Judge Ausby denied the defense’s motion for a retrial.

“This immense pain cuts deep,” the victim’s mother said during the sentencing. “I know I will never be whole again.”

The victim’s 15-year-old daughter and mother asked for no leniency. 

The victim had contributed to the death of his uncle and publicly humiliated the defendant, said defense counsel. Scott requested the lower end of the sentencing guidelines, 35-years to life, in light of the defendant’s young age and the nature of the crime. 

In addition, the defense counsel referenced the 14th and 15th amendments, stating that the prosecution hadn’t proved his guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. 

Judge Ausby sentenced McBride to life in prison for first and second-degree murder, 15 years in prison for use of a firearm during a violent crime, and 7 years for illegal possession of a firearm. The sentences are set to run concurrently. 
According to the Baltimore Sun, on July 25, 2020, 32-year-old Briggs was found shot on the 300 block of Franklintown and was pronounced dead after being transported to a hospital.