A Black Guerrilla Family member pleaded guilty Tuesday in U.S. District Court to murdering a witness to prevent him from testifying against a fellow gang member in a state case, federal prosecutors announced.
Wesley Jamal Brown, 25, admitted that he killed Moses Malone on May 2, 2013, in the 600 block of Cokesbury Ave. Malone, 22, had become a witness in a case against another BGF member, telling police that Norman Handy had robbed and shot him.
When police went to arrest Handy, they “inexplicably” left at the home an unredacted copy of a search warrant affidavit that identified Malone and summarized the information he provided to police, federal prosecutors wrote in court documents. The information was passed along to the reputed leader of the gang, Gerald Johnson, who prosecutors say directed Brown to kill Malone.
Brown is one of nine reputed BGF members charged in the federal case with allegations that paralleled those they previously faced in Baltimore Circuit Court. With some of the key defendants receiving short sentences or acquitted in state court, federal authorities took another crack at the case last year.
Brown is the fifth defendant in the federal case to enter a guilty plea. He was originally charged with murder in the state case and convicted of a lesser count of being a member of a gang and received 10 years in prison.
A spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney’s office said prosecutors anticipate Brown will receive 30 to 35 years in federal prison. He faced a maximum of life. Sentencing was scheduled for Feb. 5.
In addition to Brown, David Hunter, Kenneth Faison, Montell Harvey and Handy have pleaded guilty in the federal case, court records show.
Four other members — Johnson, Kenneth “Slay” Jones, Joseph Bonds and Marquise McCants — have pleaded not guilty and are scheduled to be tried this month. Johnson was acquitted of all charges at his state trial, and charges against McCants were dropped. Jones was convicted at trial and sentenced to life in prison, while Bonds received a sentence of 10 years with all but two years suspended.