Baltimore man convicted of manslaughter, gun charges but acquitted of murder in 2017 slaying

A jury found Jivon Brown guilty this week of manslaughter and several gun charges in the slaying of a 24-year-old man last summer in Baltimore — but jurors acquitted Brown on the most serious charges of murder and attempted murder.

The manslaughter conviction stems from the killing of Darryl Owens Jr. on July 5, 2017, during which a woman — whom Owens’ relatives said was his girlfriend — was also shot in the leg.

The jury on Monday acquitted Brown, 27, of first- and second-degree murder in the killing, and also found him not guilty of attempted murder and assault in the shooting of the woman. Prosecutors said the woman had previously been in a relationship with Brown and had a child with him.

Darryl Owens Sr. said last year that his son had been trying to find a job and move on from his past before he was killed. Owens Jr. had been incarcerated from age 18 to 23.

“He wasn’t no big drug dealer. He wasn’t out here doing all that kind of stuff,” Owens Sr. said. “He tried to get away from it, and the streets wouldn’t let him. That’s how I look at it. He tried to get away and the streets wouldn’t let him. It’s a repeated story.”

“All these mothers out here losing their kids to senseless crimes,” Owens’ mother, Towanda Frazier, said last year. “I feel like it’s a war. We have a war going on.”

The Baltimore state’s attorney’s office said in a news release that Owens and his girlfriend were shot during a dispute in the front yard of a residence on the 2600 block of Roselawn Ave. in the Hamilton Hills neighborhood.

The female victim was trying to get her daughter from Brown, who refused to release her, prosecutors said. The victim and Brown’s new girlfriend began fighting, after which multiple friends of the victim attempted to intervene.

Prosecutors said Brown went into the house, grabbed a handgun and fired it into the yard, hitting Owens five times in the back and the woman once in the leg.

“This didn’t need to happen this wa,y and it wouldn’t have if Jivon Brown had simply followed the law and put down the gun,” Assistant State’s Attorney Patrick Seidel, who prosecuted the case, said in a statement.

Brown will be sentenced before Judge Lynn Stewart Mays on Aug. 29. He is facing a maximum of 40 years in prison, prosecutors said.

Jason Silverstein, the lawyer defending Brown, said he had argued that the shooting was in self defense. He said his client is facing a mandatory minimum of five years for one of the gun crimes.

“I think the jury did a great job of listening to the facts,” Silverstein said. “I disagree with their verdicts, but they did a great job listening.”

Silverstein said his client turned himself in 18 minutes after the shooting.

Silverstein said that before the trial, prosecutors had offered a deal in which Brown would plead guilty to murder in the first degree, one of the charges the jury acquitted him of on Monday. Seidel was not immediately available for an interview on Wednesday night, a spokeswoman said.

State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby said in a statement Tuesday that, as a parent, she knows “it can be unnerving to be away from your children for extended periods of time.”

“However, a dispute over visitation should never lead to the injury of others and definitely not the death of an innocent and unarmed man,” Mosby said. “Now, this father [Brown] will never have the opportunity to freely spend time with his child because of his brazen act of violence.”

Silverstein said he plans to appeal the convictions after the sentencing hearing.

nbogelburroughs@baltsun.com

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