Severn man, 18, gets 20 years in shooting death over drugs

March 14, 1997|BY A SUN STAFF WRITER

An 18-year-old man who pleaded guilty to fatally shooting an acquaintance during a drug dispute was sentenced in Anne Arundel Circuit Court yesterday to 20 years in prison.

Dexter Tyrone Brown of the 1800 block of Arwell Court, Severn, was given a five-year concurrent sentence for a handgun violation in the shooting death last June of Delarno Darden, 22, of Seat Pleasant.

Brown pleaded guilty to second-degree murder Jan. 15. for shooting Darden in the back of the neck near the 1800 block of Arwell Court.

Judge Pamela L. North sentenced Brown after a brief hearing in which Darden's mother told her the shooting left her with a fatherless, 2-year-old grandchild.

"To just shoot someone in the back of the head, I just really can't deal with that," said Robin Munford.

Assistant public defender John Gunning, Brown's lawyer, said the victim contributed to his own death because he threatened his client with a realistic-looking toy pistol shortly before he was shot. He said Darden had cocaine in his blood and in his pockets at the time he was shot.

"Mr. Darden is not the most innocent of victims," he said.

Assistant State's Attorney Thomas Pryal said that the shooting occurred about 1: 45 a.m. when Brown approached Darden, who asked Brown if he wanted to buy some cocaine.

Brown said that he didn't and Darden pulled the toy pistol, Pryal said. Police found the toy near the scene, Pryal said.

Pryal said Brown retrieved a .380-caliber semiautomatic handgun from a hiding place nearby, exchanged words with Darden and shot him.

Pub Date: 3/14/97

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