Maryland

UPDATE: Man charged in connection to 2013 Homecoming murder at UMES

UPDATE: Man charged in connection to...

PRINCESS ANNE, Md. - A Baltimore man is facing multiple charges including second degree murder, after troopers say he was arrested in connection to a murder that happened over four years ago at a campus, in Princess Anne.

Maryland State Police say on Friday, around 10:30 AM, 25-year-old Davonta Braxton, of Baltimore, was arrested on the campus of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore in connection to a 2013 murder that happened on the campus, in Somerset County. According to the report, Braxton was charged on a indictment from a Somerset County Grand Jury with second degree murder, manslaughter, first degree assault and second degree assault. Troopers say Braxton is charged in connection with the murder of 21-year-old Edmond St. Clair, a UMES student. Authorities report that school records show that Braxton has been a student at the university on and off.

According the report, on February 16, around 9:00 PM, St. Clair was a passenger in a car traveling across the UMES campus. Troopers say not far from the Student Services Center, St. Clair and the people he was traveling with were encountered by several people walking in the street. Authorities report that St. Clair got out of the car and an altercation happened. During this time, MSP says he was stabbed in the upper torso. St. Clair was later taken to a hospital where he was pronounced dead.

According to investigators, during a search of the area near the crime scene, they recovered a folding knife. The knife was reportedly examined at the Maryland State Police  Forensic Sciences Division crime laboratory where evidence was found on the knife that positively connected it to the murder of St. Clair. Police say evidence from an unknown contributor was also found on the knife. During the ongoing investigation, law enforcement says they obtained a search warrant and DNA was later obtained from Braxton which determined that the evidence on the knife was a positive match with the suspect's DNA.

Braxton was taken to the MSP Princess Anne Barrack for processing and will later be taken to the Somerset County Detention Center to await his initial appearance before a court commissioner.

Friday, UMES staff remembered St. Clair and say this is one step to getting the closure they've been waiting for.

"It's certainly a sense of healing. Edmond was a young man you had his whole life life ahead of him. He is a student who we remember as one who loved music, who had aspirations of being a physician, and the life tragically ended in 2013. The faculty and staff , the students, who knew him and worked with him certainly grieved at that time and many days since then," said Kimberly Conway Dumpson, the UMES Executive Vice President.

The President of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore, Dr. Juliette B. Bell,  also sent a letter to the campus community regarding the 2013 Homecoming incident. See Dr. Bell's full letter below:

"October 20, 2017

Dear Campus Community,

On February 16, 2013, I had the difficult task of telling the parents of UMES student, Edmond St. Clair, that their son lost his life during a senseless act of violence during the 2013 Homecoming weekend activities. 

There is no more heart-wrenching duty for a college administrator than conveying this kind of tragic news to not only parents and loved ones, but everyone in the university family.    Today, after nearly four long years, an arrest has been made and Edmond’s family, and the UMES family, can begin to find closure.

We would like to extend our gratitude to the Maryland State Police, particularly the Homicide Unit, the Somerset County Narcotics Task Force, the Somerset County State’s Attorney’s Office, and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Office of Public Safety for working together to apprehend the alleged perpetrator of this tragic crime.

The suspect, identified as Davonta M. Braxton, a former student at the University, has been charged on an indictment from a Somerset County Grand Jury with second degree murder, manslaughter, first degree assault and second degree assault.

Today’s arrest is the next critical step in the healing process, as we remember Edmond, whose life was just beginning. We will still remember him as a student with a deep love of music, who dreamed of helping others as a physician.

We extend our thoughts and prayers to his family and close friends during this difficult time.

Sincerely,

Juliette B. Bell

President"


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