When Jennifer Jeffrey and her 7-year-old son were fatally shot in their Southwest Baltimore home in 2015, her family believed they knew who was responsible.
“You were right,” Jeffrey’s brother, Kevin Wilder, said the lead detective told him recently.
Federal prosecutors this week announced charges against Andre Ricardo “Pooh” Briscoe, including charges of killing a witness for shooting Jeffrey’s son Kester “Tony” Browne in order to prevent the little boy from identifying him as the killer. Briscoe faces a maximum sentence of death or life in prison.
Wilder, however, said he was frustrated by the characterization of Jeffrey as a heroin dealer.
He said that Briscoe would travel from the Eastern Shore to pick up drugs and hang out at Jeffrey’s home. He said that his sister knew people involved with drugs and was “enamored with the fast life,” but he disputed that she personally dealt drugs.
“People will look at that and say, ‘Oh, she did it to herself,’” Wilder said.
If anything, he said, it’s a cautionary tale of being careful who you associate with.
“Ever since this happened, I have been to churches, women’s groups, telling women to stop messing with dudes that’s hustling,” he said.
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Though key filings in the case remain sealed, U.S. District Court Judge Richard D. Bennett last month summarized information from those documents in a written opinion in which he said Jeffrey was “a heroin dealer and that Defendant Briscoe was her weekly or twice weekly customer.”
Prosecutors also said that the killing was a robbery carried out “in connection with his drug distribution.”
Wilder said his sister was caring, and that people should look no further than the positive influence she had on her son, who was a standout student while growing up without a father.
“They don’t see the person whose son was a straight-A student, speaking Chinese, a well-mannered young man,” Wilder said. “And you only get that by being shepherded by your mother.”
Jeffrey had received a nursing certification just months before her death and was applying to work in the health care industry, her brother said.
Briscoe’s attorney told The Sun earlier this week that his client disputes his involvement in the killing, and says he was on the Eastern Shore at the time they believe the shootings took place.
He also questioned why federal prosecutors brought charges near the deadline to file before the five-year statute of limitations had expired. Although murders typically don’t have a statute of limitations under state law, federal prosecutors can only bring homicide charges if they are tied to another crime, such as drug trafficking, which are subject to the filing time limits.