An Annapolis man charged with the homicide that set the record for the number of city killings in one year pleaded guilty to manslaughter Monday as prosecutors said the victim was the initial aggressor.
Antiwan Brown, 24, of Annapolis, was charged with first- and second-degree murder in the September 2016 shooting death of Walter “Buck” Bryan, 46, on Pleasant Street. Bryan’s death was the ninth in 2016, setting the record for the most homicides in a single year in Annapolis police records stretching to 1975.
The Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office and Brown’s defense attorneys reached a plea agreement n which he will face between 15 and 20 years in prison as prosecutors said Brown initially tried to walk away from the confrontation with Bryan. Brown pleaded guilty to manslaughter and a firearms charge.
Assistant State’s Attorney Theresa Morse said interviews with two witnesses revealed that Bryan approached Brown first and the two began arguing.
After Brown walked away, Bryan pursued him, Morse said. The witness told investigators Bryan said he’d assault Brown and “I’m going to take that gun from you,” she said.
At one point, Brown said “Please don’t make me shoot you,” according to the witness, before firing several warning shots, one of which struck Bryan in the stomach.
Morse said a toxicology report found Bryan had a .24 blood alcohol level as well as drugs present in his system, including the hallucinogen PCP.
Brown’s defense attorney, Harry Jacques Trainor Jr., said Bryan was a much larger man than Brown at the time of the incident.
Under the agreement with Brown, prosecutors will recommend a 30-year prison sentence, with all but between 15 to 20 years suspended, with the two sides free to argue for a sentence within those parameters.
Brown’s conviction marks the seventh conviction related to 13 homicides in the city between January 2016 and January 2017.
The Annapolis Police Department and Anne Arundel County State’s Attorney’s Office have linked people to the deaths of Bryan, Jordan Davis, Martin Jolalpa-Vasquez, Kymici Brown, Shawn Crowdy, Davon Jones, George Forrester and Bryen Cook.