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Glen Burnie man sentenced to 40 years for afternoon murder

A prosecutor described Brandon D’Carlos Williams’ murder in broad daylight as an execution.

Williams, 26, was shot nine times on April 13, 2023, when walking through the Glen Mar Apartments complex in Glen Burnie. Dominic Taylor, 20, who lived in the neighborhood, had stepped out from behind a pair of dumpsters and quickly fired at Williams. At least two of the shots likely killed the young father instantly, Assistant State’s Attorney Katherine Anthony said.

Anthony told Anne Arundel Circuit Judge Stacy McCormack she would only play surveillance footage of the shooting one time, describing it as among the most graphic killings she has seen in her career. Members of Williams’ family, after seeing the video, clung to each other for comfort, some wailing in pain. The judge paused the proceedings as Sheriff’s deputies handed out tissues to both Williams’ and Taylors’ loved ones.

Taylor, who was 19 at the time of the shooting, was sentenced to 40 years in prison Wednesday after pleading guilty to first-degree murder in February. Once he is released, he will serve five years of supervised probation.

McCormack weighed her decision in favor of the state’s recommended sentence, citing several infractions filed against the defendant at Jennifer Road Detention Center since his plea.

When given the opportunity to speak, Taylor said his actions last April did not define him, describing himself as a loyal friend who cared deeply for his family, over a dozen of whom observed Wednesday’s hearing.

In response, the judge said, “I’m not saying that’s who you are, but that’s who you were that day.”

Taylor, who lived in a Glen Mar apartment, had taken an “unauthorized half day” from school the day of the murder, Anthony said. He was seen on security footage less than 20 minutes before the shooting purchasing trash bags and water at a convenience store just outside the neighborhood — footage that would later be used to identify him as a suspect.

Taylor returned to his apartment, presumably to drop off the items, Anthony said, before going back outside and planting himself at a nearby dumpster station.

Williams, who the prosecutor said did not live in the area, was going to a friend’s house to drop off a key when Anthony stepped out from the dumpsters and shot him.

Witnesses told responding officers they had seen someone wearing a ski mask and black clothing running into the woods surrounding the apartment community after the shooting.

During their investigation, detectives looked at social media accounts of people suspected of being in a gang, Anthony said, when they came across Taylor’s profile. Using security footage from the convenience store and a Instagram post of Taylor’s, police were able to identify Taylor as a suspect.

Next, officials subpoenaed Taylor’s cell phone provider for location data from the day of the murder. The results, displayed on a slideshow presentation in court, showed the defendant’s phone pinged in the store, behind the dumpsters and in the adjoining woods.

When Taylor was taken into custody, he was interviewed by detectives and confessed to killing Williams. Anthony said that during the interrogation, he told police that he did “what (he) had to do” and that he wasn’t mad at his victim; “it was just me or him,” Taylor told officers.

Public defender Irene Ibongo told McCormack that Taylor was under the impression Williams was in the area to attack him and his mother, saying her client had “received information” telling him as much. When the judge asked what the defendant’s relationship was to the victim, the defense attorney said there was a similar threat months earlier involving Williams — McCormack did not ask for further clarification.

Williams’ family, in a statement read by the prosecutor, asked the judge to issue the penalty sought by the state, saying Taylor went “beyond overkill” and that a proper punishment against him may deter others from causing another family to experience the “unbearable pain” they have lived with for the last year.

Ibongo said her client was wrong for what he did and bad information was no excuse for his actions. She also thanked members of Williams’ family who acknowledged the grief Taylor’s family would also be experiencing with his incarceration.

“That is a lot of grace for a family that has lost their son,” she said. “That is not something we can minimize.”

The afternoon shooting in a residential area caused five area schools to go into lockdown.

Anthony said Taylor’s recklessness showed he “was on a mission” to kill Williams, “who never saw what was coming.”

“He wasn’t angry,” Anthony said of the defendant. “He was calculated.”

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