A Baltimore man was convicted Wednesday in the 2015 killing of a woman and her 7-year-old son to keep the child from talking to police, according to the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Andre Ricardo “Poo” Briscoe, 38, of Baltimore and Cambridge, was convicted by a jury after a 12-day trial.
He was convicted of federal drug distribution charges; use of a firearm to commit murder in relation to drug trafficking crimes; killing a witness to prevent communication with law enforcement; and being a felon in possession of firearm and ammunition.
Briscoe faces a mandatory life sentence for killing the 7-year-old boy and a maximum life sentence for murdering the child’s mother. U.S. District Judge Richard D. Bennett scheduled the sentencing for Sept. 20, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a news release.
“This case is nothing short of tragic. A mother and her child, who was believed to be a witness, were senselessly murdered,” said U.S. Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L. Barron in the release. “Let this conviction serve as a message to those who would take a life that the Maryland U.S. Attorney’s Office will prosecute anyone who harms or attempts to harm witnesses.”
The shocking fatal shooting of Jennifer Jeffrey, 31, and her 7-year-old son, Kester Browne, known as Tony, in their Southwest Baltimore home went unsolved for five years until federal prosecutors brought charges against Briscoe in September 2020. Authorities say Briscoe carried out the May 27, 2015, shooting in the Uplands neighborhood as part of a drug-related robbery.
Prosecutors said Briscoe shot the boy multiple times, including in the head and mouth, to prevent him from communicating with law enforcement. The killing is believed to have happened between late morning and early afternoon that day.
Two days before the killings, Briscoe traveled from his Cambridge home to the home of co-defendant Kiara Haynes, with whom he was romantically involved, according to prosecutors.
According to testimony at the trial, Briscoe told Haynes that Jeffrey, her longtime friend, had heroin, and he planned to rob and kill Jeffrey to get the heroin. Haynes then helped Briscoe get a gun.
She told a relative on a recorded jail line that she needed the gun so Briscoe could rob Jeffrey of her drugs. In exchange for allowing Haynes to use the gun, Haynes promised to give the inmate “like 30 [grams]” of the stolen heroin and give him the gun back, the release says.
The inmate agreed to loan Haynes the gun. After the call, Haynes and Briscoe met with the inmate’s brother, who gave Haynes a .45-caliber firearm. Later that night, Briscoe left Haynes’s apartment to go hang out with Jeffrey at her home nearby.
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When Briscoe came back to Haynes’s apartment the next morning about 7:23 a.m., he told her that Jeffrey had shown him a large amount of heroin and that Jeffrey’s child did not feel well and had not gone to school that day. Several hours later, Briscoe retrieved the .45-caliber gun from Haynes’s bedroom and told her that he was going to Jeffrey’s to get the drugs.
Briscoe returned to Haynes’s apartment and told her that Jeffrey and her child were dead and gave Haynes a bag of heroin as her “cut” of Jeffrey’s drugs. Haynes returned the gun to the inmate’s relative along with the heroin given to her by Briscoe, as payment for the use of the gun, according to the release.
On May 28, 2015, after a receiving a call for assistance, the Baltimore Police Department discovered Jeffrey and her child dead in their home.
“There is a little boy who should be a teenager right now, but who instead was murdered at only seven years old because he witnessed the murder of his mother. That kind of callous disregard for their lives is reprehensible,” said Toni M. Crosby, special agent in charge of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’ Baltimore office. “While it can never make up for their loss, we hope that today the family of Jennifer Jeffrey and her son feel some sense of justice.”
In November 2021, Haynes, age 36, of Baltimore, pleaded guilty to two counts of aiding and abetting the use and discharge of a firearm in relation to a drug trafficking crime and crime of violence, causing the death of Jeffrey and her seven-year-old son.
She admitted that she helped plot a robbery of Jeffrey including acquiring a gun used in the crime and taking a cut of stolen heroin afterward. She faces a minimum mandatory sentence of 10 years in prison and the possibility of life in prison. She is scheduled for sentencing on June 29.
Briscoe’s attorney William B Purpura Jr. could not be reached for comment.