Key Hayes wit­ness has DUI charge

De­tec­tive’s 2018 case un­known to de­fense, Gray’s at­tor­ney says

Baltimore Sun - - FRONT PAGE - By Jessica An­der­son and Erika But­ler

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.

Tay­lor Hayes

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