Prosecution Witnesses Key to Identifying Defendant in Decade-Old Murder Case

Baltimore Courthouse

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Ten years after the murder of 26-year-old Antonio Mayes, two witnesses are expected to testify that it was defendant Brandon Brown who pulled the trigger, a Baltimore City prosecutor told jurors on Feb. 21.

During opening statements on Wednesday, the prosecution explained that the Baltimore Police Department’s (BPD) initial investigation into Mayes’ death yielded tips, but there was never enough evidence to charge the 34-year-old defendant. However, 10 years later, a friend of the victim told police he was with Mayes at the time of the shooting. The prosecutor said the witness was no longer able to live with the guilt and wanted to bring peace to the victim’s family.

About three years after the shooting, the prosecutor continued, another witness—Brown’s former cellmate—informed police that the defendant told him about the murder, sharing details that would’ve been otherwise unknown. Brown was not charged with Mayes’ murder at this time, but was serving time for another crime.

Both witnesses are currently in federal prison, the prosecutor said.

Defense attorney Robert Cole asked jurors to question the reliability of the witnesses given their criminal history. While one of the witnesses is in prison for child sex trafficking, he said, the other witness is serving time for armed robberies.

Brown’s involvement consists of “a lot of rumors and speculations,” Cole added, saying that police received tips of other potential suspects during their initial investigation.

Brown’s trial continued with testimony Wednesday morning and is expected to continue on Feb. 22 before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Jennifer B. Schiffer.

According to charging documents, Mayes was found with multiple gunshot wounds on the 1000 block of Valley Street around 12:50 a.m. on Sept. 8, 2013.

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