A fellow patron at a Rice Street bar was gunned down by a suspected gang member after trying to break up a fight.
A St. Paul man tossed from a Rice Street bar for fighting about a year ago was convicted on Monday of murder for gunning down a fellow patron who tried to break up the fight.
Byron D. Brantley retrieved a .44-caliber revolver and fatally shot Trevell Glass, 26, across the street from Born's Bar last April 13, prosecutor John Ristad told a Ramsey County District Court jury during closing arguments.
The jury deliberated into the evening before finding Brantley, 32, guilty of second-degree murder in Glass' shooting and guilty of attempted second-degree murder in the shooting of Ryan L. Davis, then 28.
"You see that?" an accomplice, Xavier Buckhanan, quoted Brantley as saying just after the shooting. "I had to air them out."
Ristad said Brantley emptied the six-round revolver at Glass and Davis after Glass made a disparaging remark about the earlier fight. He added that Brantley tried three times to re-enter Born's after being kicked out.
Defense attorney Mark Miller said authorities found no gunshot residue proving Brantley fired the weapon. He also noted that Buckhanan, 37, had struck a deal with prosecutors calling for a lighter sentence in exchange for his testimony.
Ristad countered that other witnesses identified Brantley as the shooter. As for Buckhanan's plea agreement, he told jurors: "Yes, he got a deal, because he accepted responsibility early." Buckhanan, who also fired a gun but hit no one, is still expected to get prison time when he is sentenced, the prosecutor said.
Charges say Buckhanan told police last year that his cohorts that night were 52 Crips gang members. A photo displayed to jurors showed Brantley with a number "5" tattooed under his right eye and a "2" tattooed under his left. Ristad said Davis could see the tattoos when the gunman opened fire from about 6 feet away.
District Judge Salvador Rosas set sentencing for June 15.
Anthony Lonetree 612-875-0041