Murder charge dropped for January fatal shooting

Terry “Boo-Man” McDonald
Terry “Boo-Man” McDonald Provided photo

A Bradenton man is no longer facing a murder charge in the January fatal shooting of Robert Eugene Brewer.

On the evening of Jan. 20, Manatee County Sheriff’s Office deputies were called to the 2300 block of First Avenue East in Palmetto to reports of a shooting. Brewer, who had been shot multiple times, was pronounced dead at the scene.

Terry “Boo-Man” McDonald, 25, had been identified as the shooter by an eyewitness at the scene. McDonald and Brewer had gotten into an argument over a woman, allegedly, which turned into a physical altercation ending with shots being fired.

McDonald never denied being there or the fight, but he told homicide detectives he did not shoot the victim.

On Nov. 8, Assistant State Attorney Cynthia Evers announced during a hearing in the case that the murder charge was being dropped. The following day, the notice was formally filed.

According to an internal memo written by Evers, the case was based on one cooperating witness who thought that McDonald had been the shooter because he was seen grabbing a gun and putting it in his waistband just prior to the shots being heard. After formal charges were filed, however, that same witness claimed that McDonald and Brewer had been facing each other when they were fighting and shots were fired.

Brewer’s autopsy confirmed that he had been shot in the back.

During a recent deposition, the witness told attorneys that when the fight had become physical, three of Brewer’s friends had come to his aide, according to the memo. At least one of the friends had reportedly been behind the victim.

Brewer was no stranger to homicide detectives at the time of his death.

In May 2016, a murder charge for the December 2015 fatal shooting of 27-year-old Kevin McCants was dropped against Brewer. Additionally, Brewer had also been the suspect in several other homicides.

McDonald was not released from custody, however, because he was still facing violation of probation charges, according to court records.

On Nov. 14, McDonald was sentenced to five years prison for two violations of probation. The violations had been the result of his arrest on the murder charge and because he had been in possession of a firearm.

Jessica De Leon: 941-745-7049, @JDeLeon1012