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Jury finds District man guilty in beating death of 75-year-old

Clifton Browne was convicted of voluntary manslaughter in the 2021 fatal beating of Luther Brooks.

Luther Brooks was fatally injured on Sept. 28, 2021, during an altercation at a residence in the 1300 block of Kalmia Road Northwest. (Family photo)
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A D.C. Superior Court jury on Wednesday found a District man guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the 2021 fatal beating of a 75-year-old.

The jury found Clifton Browne, 57, guilty in the Sept. 28, 2021, fatal beating of Luther Brooks, prosecutors said.

By prosecutors’ account, the two men got into an altercation after Browne came to the home in the 1300 block of Kalmia Road in Northwest Washington where Brooks was renting a basement apartment. Prosecutors said the homeowner had been trying to sell the residence, and had hired Browne as a handyman in preparation for the sale.

Prosecutors said the two men began arguing, and Brooks emerged from his bedroom holding a stick. He hit Browne in the chest, knocking him to the floor, prosecutors said. Browne then charged at Brooks and beat him inside the apartment, ultimately dragging and dumping him in a concrete stairwell.

Unable to sit up on his own, Brooks fell backward and struck his head on the concrete, authorities said. He suffered fractures to his skull, ribs and other injuries, and died 10 days later. Brooks was the District’s oldest homicide victim in 2021.

Prosecutors had charged Browne with second-degree murder, but a jury found him not guilty of that more serious crime. Browne and his attorneys argued he acted in self-defense. He is scheduled to be sentenced on May 5 by Judge Marisa Demeo.