Two ‘39 Babies’  Gang Members Plead Guilty

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A 23-year-old defendant accused of murder and gang participation entered a guilty plea on Feb. 5 via his defense attorney, Adam C. Demetriou

Karon Tyree Johnson received life, suspending all but 40 years, for first-degree murder, a concurrent suspended sentence of 15 years for participation in a criminal gang and another concurrent 15 years, the first five without the possibility of parole, for using a firearm in a felony violent crime. 

Co-defendant Pierre Briggs, 22, also entered a guilty plea before Baltimore City Circuit Court Judge Charles H. Dorsey Monday. 

Briggs, another alleged member of the “39 Babies” gang, accumulated over 70 charges, including participation in a criminal gang, multiple counts of first-degree murder and various firearm-related offenses. Both Johnson and Briggs were set to be tried with a third co-defendant, 23-year-old Gregory Beadles, before taking the plea deals. 

The assistant attorney general offered Briggs a total of 35 years, suspending all but 15 years, the first 10 years without the possibility of parole and five years of supervised probation for participating in a criminal gang and two counts of possessing a firearm with a felony conviction. 

According to Briggs’ defense attorney Angela Shelton, the defendant asked his parents not to attend the hearing because he knew that they did not raise him to engage in these violent behaviors.

Given Briggs’ “outstanding reports” from his time at Silver Oak Academy, a high school for juvenile offenders, Shelton requested Judge Dorsey recommend Briggs for the Patuxent Youthful Offenders Program as part of his effort to become a better man for his 3-year-old daughter. 

Judge Dorsey recommended both Briggs and Johnson for the Patuxent Youthful Offenders Program. 

“On December 13, the word pain was redefined,” said the head of a Baltimore youth mentorship program in his statement to the court about the loss of 17-year-old victim London Stuckey

“These young people of our city are the victims of their own circumstances,” he said.

The three co-defendants are accused of eight attempted murders and four homicides in connection with December 2019 shootings. 

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