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Gunmen sentenced to life in prison for murdering grandson of Maryland lawmaker in Baltimore

Del. Talmadge Branch comforts his daughter, Chanel Branch, before they spoke in support of legislation that would increase funding to anti-violence programs in Baltimore. Branch's grandson was killed in a shooting in 2017; two men were sentenced to life in prison in his death.
Del. Talmadge Branch comforts his daughter, Chanel Branch, before they spoke in support of legislation that would increase funding to anti-violence programs in Baltimore. Branch's grandson was killed in a shooting in 2017; two men were sentenced to life in prison in his death. (Amy Davis / Baltimore Sun)

Two men were sentenced Wednesday to life in prison for murdering Tyrone Ray, the grandson of state Del. Talmadge Branch, in a barrage of gunfire outside 7-Eleven in Northeast Baltimore.

Raekwon Thornton, 21, and Lamont Kyler, 22, each received a prison term of two life sentences and 25 years, said Melba Saunders, spokeswoman for the Baltimore State’s Attorney’s Office.

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Their 22-year-old victim was on crutches when ambushed outside the convenience store in September 2017. Ray was shot point-blank two dozen times. The bullets pierced his fingers, elbow, chest, back and groin.

His death led Branch, House majority whip, to push in Annapolis for more money and programs to curb Baltimore’s street violence.

In December, Thornton and Kyler were found guilty of murder, conspiracy to commit murder and gun charges.

“It didn’t bring him back, but it did show that justice can prevail,” Branch said. “We were lucky to get a resolution when there are still hundreds of other families out there that don’t have a resolution yet and we’re praying for them.”

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