Key Hayes witness has DUI charge
Detective’s 2018 case unknown to defense, Gray’s attorney says
A suspended Baltimore police detective who gave conflicting testimony during the trial of a man accused of killing 7-year-old Taylor Hayes has a pending case related to drunken driving, court records show.
Sgt. Kevin T. Brown, 43, of Aberdeen, was charged with driving a Baltimore City vehicle while under the influence of alcohol after a crash on Interstate 95 in Harford County last year and with carrying a handgun while under the influence of alcohol, court records show.
Brown’s testimony is at the center of the trial of Keon Gray, who is charged with murder in the death of Taylor, who was shot as she rode inside a Honda in West Baltimore. Gray maintains his innocence, and a Baltimore jury went home Tuesday evening without reaching a verdict. Deliberations continue Wednesday.
Gray’s attorney, Kenneth Ravenell, said Tuesday he was unaware of the pending case against Brown.
“This is something that would have been important for us to know,” he said.
Maryland State Police were called at about 9:45 p.m. Oct. 22, 2018, to a two-vehicle crash on northbound I-95 in the Edgewood area, state police spokesman Ron Snyder said Tuesday.
At the scene, Brown identified himself as a police officer, Snyder said. Brown was driving a unmarked 2018 Ford registered to Baltimore City. He was arrested at the scene and taken to JFK Memorial Highway Barrack.
The driver of the second vehicle, a Toyota Sienna minivan, was taken to a local hospital for minor injuries, Snyder said.
Baltimore police spokesman Matt
Jablow said Tuesday that Brown has been on administrative duty with pay but did not know when the suspension began. Jablow said the department has been aware of the charges.
He declined to comment further on the investigation.
Brown previously served as a spokesman for the department and is listed as the public relations committee chairman for the Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 3. He was hired in August 2001 and earned $140,000 during last fiscal year with overtime, on a base salary of $92,000, city salary records show.
Brown was initially charged in district court, but the charges were filed in Harford County Circuit Court on June 28, court records show. The charges are listed as driving while impaired by alcohol, negligent driving and failing to control a vehicle speed to avoid collision, in addition to the charge of carrying a handgun while under the influence of alcohol, court records show.
Brown’s attorney declined to comment. A hearing on the matter is scheduled Aug. 23 and a trial date scheduled for Oct. 31.
Hayes was shot while riding inside a Honda driven by her godmother, Darnell Holmes, with Holmes’ friend Malik Edison in the passenger seat, police have said. Edison had testified he exchanged nearly two dozen shots in a shootout with Gray as they sped down a West Baltimore street, and that one of Gray’s shots struck and killed Taylor.
Brown had testified that several witnesses said they saw a white S Class Mercedes at the scene of the shooting. Gray’s DNA was found in a white Mercedes that crashed near the scene.
But, later, under cross-examination, Brown said no witnesses had ever told him that the vehicle was an S Class white Mercedes and that he did not recall even making that statement in court during his testimony a day earlier.
The officer also testified that he had not received any photos, texts or other communication from a key prosecution witness, but hours later he found the messages and sent them to the prosecutor, hours after his testimony. A witness had testified emphatically that she had sent the messages to Brown, and that the car police connected to Gray was not the vehicle she saw at the scene.
The discrepancies prompted the judge presiding over the case to listen to the courtroom recordings of the hearing, conclude that the officer made opposing statements on the stand, and issue stipulations to jurors in the case highlighting the conflicting testimony.
A spokeswoman for the city state’s attorney’s office declined to comment because of the ongoing case.