Bullets started flying. The teen was shot in the side. Braxton was shot in the foot. Gunshots went into the floor, window, walls and ceiling as the struggle toppled furniture and broke chairs. One bullet shot out a light, and the room went dark. Lesane at some point fell to the ground.
The teen bit Lesane on the back and wrested the gun from him. And in that moment, he squeezed off two shots.
"We ran out of the house," he told police. At a Rite-Aid down the street, he paid someone $5 to give him a lift to Sinai Hospital. He had no idea who Marcus Lesane was but assumed he was dead.
That day at school, the teen agreed to take police to the crime scene. Inside were signs of a struggle, but the mess had largely been cleaned up -- bullet holes in the living room floor, for example, had been filled with putty, and the carpet had been ripped up.
The teen professed no knowledge of this aftermath, but he showed police where he ditched the gun in the 2500 block of Loyola Southway, pulling from a bush a 9 mm Beretta with two live rounds. He'd never been in trouble before and said he'd worried police wouldn't believe him. He couldn't sleep. He couldn't get the events of that night out of his head.
Later, at the scene with Baskerville, homicide detectives made the connection. They now had a shooter in their missing-person case, but still no bead on Lesane's whereabouts.
The answer would come a week later. On April 23, a man sweeping an alley a few blocks away on Southway encountered a pile of garbage that included a sign for a now-closed bar called the Preakness Lounge, a big screen-television, a storm door and a pile of wood.
The man went to grab a discarded child's crib and uncovered a decomposing body, clad in a yellow shirt and blue jeans with plastic bags covering his head and feet. In his back were bullets that had severed his spinal cord and punctured his lung and heart. They were instantly fatal, the medical examiner would later determine.
For detectives and prosecutors, the next steps presented a challenge.
If there was one person whose hands might be truly clean in the killing of Marcus Lesane, it was the 19-year-old who pulled the trigger of the gun that ended his life.
The gunshots had been fired wildly, and there was no evidence of any other injuries except the bite mark. But the shooter hadn't been truthful to the detective who questioned him at the hospital. Braxton and the shooter's brother were refusing to talk to police. The body had also been moved; it remains unclear by whom.
Yet all indications were that Marcus Lesane had died as his victims thwarted an armed assault and robbery.
Prosecutors took the case before a grand jury and ultimately decided that no one would face criminal charges. Lesane's death, which had been Baltimore's 64th homicide of the year, is no longer classified as a murder at all, but a justified case of self-defense.
A TIME TO MOURN
On April 30, a week after Marcus Lesane's body was found and the day he would have turned 28, at least 100 mourners gathered in the parking lot of Beechfield Elementary/Middle School and huddled around two enlarged photographs of him on posterboard.
As they sang and lit candles on lily pads floating in a bowl of water, friends and relatives recalled his good qualities. One woman who said she had lived with him for more than a year called him the "kindest, gentlest man I've come across in my life."
Others hinted at his troubles. "A good kid gone bad," lamented his aunt, Pat Redmond.
Months later, his mother, Mozita Lesane, continues to struggle with the official account of the killing. She blames Baskerville, and wants whoever moved her son's body to face charges.
"Who's on Marcus' side to say he didn't do it? How do I know my son wasn't set up for a murder? Those guys are speaking, and my son can't," she said in an interview.
Some of those involved in the case have since been picked up by police.
Braxton has been charged in an unrelated homicide in Northwest Baltimore, the killing of Davon Ockimey. His trial is tentatively set for Jan. 10. His lawyer did not respond to a request for comment.
Baskerville was locked up after police said drugs were found in his home the day he was picked up for an interrogation, and is currently awaiting trial in another crime -- the March 7 killing of LaConte Mitchell, 28, whose nude body was dumped behind a railroad car on property in South Baltimore owned by the B&O Railroad Museum.
A woman who answered the door at a trim rowhouse listed as an address for Baskerville declined to comment, as did his attorney.
Police wrote in charging documents that Baskerville had contacted Mitchell, a Spring Grove Hospital security guard who had no criminal record, about purchasing marijuana and ambushed him as he approached.
Police say Baskerville had an accomplice: Marcus Lesane.
For Robert Lesane, the idea that his brother's conduct brought about his demise is somewhat reassuring. He said the family struggled with anger over the idea that he may have been set up, or that he was being held and tortured while missing. But his death was quick, and unplanned.
It was his own fault.
Robert Lesane said of the shooter: "He did what he had to do."