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Breaking up St. Paul bar fight led to death

  • Article by: CHAO XIONG
  • Star Tribune
  • April 14, 2011 - 9:40 PM

A St. Paul man gunned down on the city's North End Wednesday morning was killed for breaking up a bar fight between other patrons.

Byron Brantley, 31, was charged Thursday with second-degree murder and attempted second-degree murder in Ramsey County District Court. He is accused of shooting Trevell Glass, 26, about 2 a.m. Wednesday after Glass and a friend tried to break up a fight between Brantley and other bar patrons inside Born's Bar, according to charges.

Glass died on Manitoba Avenue at Rice Street. Ryan L. Davis, 28, who was talking with Glass outside the bar, was shot in the chest and is expected to recover. Another friend of Glass who had also tried to break up the fight was not injured.

Two other St. Paul men were also charged: Leandrews Miller, 37, with second-degree murder and aiding an offender, and Xavier Buckhanan, 36, with attempted second-degree murder and possession of a firearm by an ineligible person.

According to charges against the three: Brantley, Buckhanan, Miller and a fourth friend went to Born's Bar at 899 Rice St., where Brantley got into an altercation with other bar patrons. Glass and his friend tried to break it up. Brantley and his friends were kicked out.

Brantley, Buckhanan, Miller and the fourth man got into Miller's car. Miller was driving. Brantley got out and walked toward where Glass and Davis were standing. Miller drove around the block then decided to go get Brantley before something happened, Buckhanan told authorities.

But before they could, Brantley allegedly fired several gunshots, one into Davis' chest and four into Glass. A witness told police he heard up to eight gunshots.

An officer on patrol in the area heard the shots and rushed to the scene, where Glass was already dead.

"I've been shot!" Davis yelled as he approached the officer.

Brantley and the other men fled in the vehicle. Police stopped them at Case and York avenues, and Brantley fled on foot clutching his midsection as if holding onto something, according to charges. A police dog tracked him to a hiding spot between a shed and garage, and he was arrested. Miller, Buckhanan and the fourth man in the car also were arrested. The fourth man was not charged.

Brantley's criminal record includes convictions for attempted aggravated robbery, domestic assault, fleeing police, terroristic threats and criminal damage to property.

Buckhanan's record includes multiple drug convictions and an assault conviction. Miller's record includes assault and drug convictions.

Buckhanan told authorities that when Brantley returned to the car after the shooting, he said, "You see that? I had to air [him]."

According to charges, Buckhanan admitted to firing gunshots from inside the car that did not strike anyone. He said the men he was with were 52 Crips gang members.

Brantley -- who has the numbers "5" and "2" tattooed under either eye -- denied involvement in the shooting, as did Miller.

A medical examiner's report shows that Glass was shot once in the chest, left lower back, right buttock and right thigh. Three of the shots were likely fired at him as he was lying on the ground, the complaint said. He died of a gunshot wound to the chest, fired from a distance.

Glass' family members said he was engaged and was raising five children, including a 6-month-old. He was working toward an associate's degree in business management.

Residents said Born's Bar attracts unruly patrons who argue and brawl on neighborhood streets. Since 2006 there have been 800 911 calls and proactive police visits to the bar.

It is St. Paul's second homicide this year.

Chao Xiong • 612-270-4708 Follow Chao on Twitter: @ChaoStrib

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