Crime

Palmetto teen charged with shooting man dead in argument over gun. Trial now underway

Moments before being shot dead with the gun he had on his lap, Tommy Brown was arguing with the man charged with killing him over that very gun, according to prosecutors.

The gun in the victim’s lap belonged to Jacoryan Christopher Lee, 19. Brown, 26, was holding it as collateral, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office’s investigation.

Brown was driving and had pulled into the Oakwood Village apartment complex in Palmetto when Lee flagged him down, and the argument over the gun ensued.

Brown wasn’t alone when he was killed. On Tuesday morning, the jury heard from Jaquan Maxwell, who says he was sitting in the front passenger seat of Brown’s car when Lee got into the backseat and eventually shot Brown.

Maxwell, who was subject of threats ahead of the trial, didn’t hide his unwillingness to testify. Repeatedly Maxwell had to be told to speak up, repeat what he said or speak closer to the microphone.

The trial got underway on Monday with jury selection and is expected to wrap up by Thursday.

Sheriff’s Sgt. Angel Posada-Wilcher was also among those who took the stand on Tuesday as the state presented its case against Lee.

Posada-Wilcher was the first deputy on the scene. Paramedics arrived shortly after and pronounced Brown dead.

Nearby were a pair Nike slide sandals that Lee was seeing running out of when he ran from the car, according to Maxwell.

Deputy Irene Gallardo was the first to interview Maxwell at the scene.

“He said that the shooter, he knows him by Jacoryan Brice,” Gallardo said on the witness stand.

After getting as description of the shooter, later identified as Jacoryan Lee, Gallardo issued a be-on-the-lookout for the suspect.

Lee was arrested a week later on March 18, 2018, and has remained in custody pending the outcome of his trial.

Jessica De Leon has been covering crime, courts and law enforcement for the Bradenton Herald since 2013. She has won numerous awards for her coverage including the Florida Press Club’s Lucy Morgan Award for In-Depth Reporting in 2016 for her coverage into the death of 11-year-old Janiya Thomas.
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