SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- A man from Springfield pleaded guilty for a murder in spring 2012 near the Missouri State University campus.
Prosecutors say Joshua Brown shot Javon Carter outside a home on Maryland Avenue. He was shot in the face and the arm. Police say Brown died later at a hospital.
Brown was arrested in Los Angeles in June 2012. He received a 13-year prison sentence. Investigators believe the two were acquaintances.
Edited news release from Greene County Prosecuting Attorney's Office:
Brown pleaded guilty for events occurring on May 5, 2012. On that day, the victim, Javon Carter, and two friends, Brandon McDonald and Tremon Brewer, went to Brown’s home at 1134 S. Maryland Ave. These three men went to confront Brown about allegations that they had stolen a safe from Brown.
Carter, McDonald, and Brewer entered Brown’s home, at which time the defendant retrieved a handgun. Brown was at home with his girlfriend along with Dhamin Harvey and his girlfriend.
After a brief conversation inside, everyone went outside. Outside, Harvey and Brewer engaged in a fist fight. Brown and Carter agreed to box one on one. During this fight, Brown pulled the gun and shot Carter in the arm and in the face.
Prosecutors amended this charge from second-degree murder to voluntary manslaughter. They believe this outcome was appropriate under all of the circumstances in this case. Brown’s friends and the victim’s friends provided differing versions of the events.
If this case were to go to trial, the prior felony conviction of Brewer for burglary and the pending charges of unlawful use of a weapon of McDonald would be admissible to attack their credibility. Under the terms of this agreement, Brown admitted he knowingly shot Carter but did so under the influence of sudden passion and waived any claims of justification under the castle doctrine.
The range of punishment on voluntary manslaughter is from five to 15 years in the Missouri Department of Corrections. Armed criminal action has a minimum mandatory punishment of three years in prison. Pursuant to the plea agreement, Brown was sentenced by Circuit Judge Thomas Mountjoy to 10 years in prison for voluntary manslaughter and three years in prison for armed criminal action. Brown had no prior criminal history.