Maryland State Trooper Wesley Brown always played the good cop, even on the night he was murdered, friends and family said Thursday at the sentencing of his killer.
Prince George's County Circuit Court Judge Sean Wallace ordered Cyril Williams, 29, to life in prison without parole plus 25 years for the shooting of Brown, who was killed in June 2010 after he kicked Williams out of the Forestville restaurant where Brown was moonlighting as a security guard.
"Trooper Brown would have been well within his right to lock you up," Judge Wallace said. "He gave you a break and instead of enjoying your good luck and going home, you took revenge."
Williams was convicted of first-degree murder in February.
The night of the murder, Williams was drunk and urinated on someone inside an Applebee's restaurant, Prince George's Deputy State's Attorney Tara Harrison said. Brown, 24, and Karl Peoples were working as part-time security guards at the restaurant and escorted Williams outside for being disorderly. Officer Peoples said Williams took a swing at him and he wanted to arrest the man, but Brown, wanting to give him a chance, told his partner to "just let him go."
About an hour after the incident, prosecutors said Williams returned to the restaurant with a gun and fatally shot Brown when he stepped outside to make a phone call.
"He gave someone a chance who didn't deserve it," Brown's sister Patrice Faison said at the sentencing. "Our family is hurting. Our family is broken."
Law-enforcement officers, family and members of the Seat Pleasant community, where Brown was from, packed the Prince George's County courtroom for the sentencing. Brown had only worked as a state trooper for a few years but had founded a mentoring group for youth in Seat Pleasant. His part-time security job at Applebee's had helped pay for field trips and other activities for the young men to whom he dedicated so much of his time, his fiancee, Ebony Norris, said.
Commenting after Williams was sentenced, Ms. Norris said the entire ordeal has been a "long journey."
"We feel like justice has finally been served," she said.
Williams did not speak at the sentencing. His attorney, William Brennan Jr., said his client maintains his innocence and plans to appeal his conviction.
A co-defendant in the case, Anthony Milton, pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact in Brown's death and testified against Williams during the trial. Milton provided the gun prosecutors said was used in the murder and was sentenced to five years in prison.
"To all of those who think this type of behavior is acceptable, if you take the life of an officer who is sworn to protect us, we will prosecute you and we will take your life away from you," State's Attorney Angela Alsobrooks said after the sentencing.
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