Maryland trooper’s killer could face life in prison

The Seat Pleasant man convicted of gunning down a Maryland state trooper to get revenge after the trooper threw him out of a restaurant faces the possibility of life in prison, without the chance of parole, at his sentencing Thursday in Prince George’s County Circuit Court.

Cyril Williams, 29, is scheduled to appear in front of Prince George’s County Circuit Court Judge Sean D. Wallace at 9:30 a.m., when he will learn what punishment he faces for the June 2010 shooting of Maryland State Trooper Wesley Brown outside a Forestville Applebee’s, court records show. Williams was convicted of first-degree murder in February for Brown’s killing, and prosecutors have said they intend to ask for the most serious penalty possible.

From the start, the case has been an emotional one. Law enforcement officials and family members packed the courtroom during Williams’s trial in February, and they are almost certain to show up in droves to his sentencing.

Brown was a beloved trooper who had started a youth mentoring group in Seat Pleasant, and prosecutors accused Williams of callously ambushing him while he was working an off-duty security job. Brown, prosecutors said, had thrown Williams out of the Applebee’s on Donnell Drive for being drunk and disorderly. They said Williams left to get a gun, drove back and opened fire on the restaurant’s door when Brown stepped outside to talk on the phone.

Cellphone records showed Williams moving roughly from Applebee’s to an area where he retrieved the gun, then back to Applebee’s about the time of the killing. Anthony Milton, who admitted giving Williams the gun and pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact, testified that he drove with Williams to the restaurant and saw him shoot at the door. He was sentenced to five years in prison for his role in the crime.


Maryland State Trooper Wesley Brown, 24, was killed in 2010 outside an Appelbee’s. (AP)

Defense lawyers had argued that there was not enough evidence to connect Williams to the shooting. Although one witness identified him as the shooter in court, she could not do so definitively in the past, defense attorneys argued. Other witnesses, defense attorneys argued, had provided only broad descriptions that matched Williams, and prosecutors presented no DNA or fingerprint evidence.

Matt Zapotosky covers the federal district courthouse in Alexandria, where he tries to break news from a windowless office in which he is not allowed to bring his cell phone.
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