Alleged Towson Town Center shooter's case now before jury

Tyrone Chester Brown, 21, accused of shooting teen as gang initiation

March 12, 2013|By Jessica Anderson, The Baltimore Sun

Jury deliberations began Tuesday in the trial of a 21-year-old charged with gunning down a teen outside the Towson Town Center Mall just days before Christmas in 2011.

Prosecutors say Tyrone Chester Brown Jr., 21, of Baltimore shot and killed Rodney Pridget as an initiation into the Black Guerrilla Family gang.

They said Pridget and his girlfriend were followed by another member through the mall on Dec. 19 before he was shot six times.

"That was a man who was on a mission and knew what he was going to do," said Deputy State's Attorney Robin Coffin.

Using the mall's 268 surveillance cameras, along with cell phone records of Brown and his co-defendants, prosecutors attempted to show the suspects' actions in the hour before Pridget's death.

They said Jermell Brandon used a cell phone to call Frank Theodore Williams. Another man, believed to be senior BGF member William Ward III authorized the killing, prosecutors said.

Brandon testified at the trial, and identified Brown as the shooter. He took a federal plea deal and received a 20-year sentence.

But Brown's attorney, Lawrence Rosenberg, questioned Brandon's testimony, given his plea agreement.

He argued that the state "plugged in Tyrone Brown," out of convenience and that they had no physical evidence tying his client to the shooting.

The surveillance cameras do not capture Pridget's death.

Brown's co-defendants, Ward and Williams were convicted in September and received life sentences.

Prosecutors said Pridget was targeted because the defendants believed he shot and wounded another gang member's cousin. They allege they used Pridget's Facebook picture to identify him.

Pridget was not charged in the city shooting.

jkanderson@baltsun.com

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