Judge Sets New Trial Date for Man Charged in Child’s Fatal Shooting

A DC Superior Court judge set a retrial date for the defendant charged in 11-year-old Karon Brown‘s death after his first trial ended with a partial verdict.

Tony McClam was indicted on seven counts including first-degree murder while armed in reference to the shooting, which took place on July 18, 2019. During his first trial, the prosecution alleged that McClam brought a gun to an altercation between two groups of kids, including McClam’s nephew, who he was attempting to discipline. After a man in a vehicle with Karon in the back seat confronted McClam, the prosecution says he fired at the vehicle, striking and killing the child.

The defense did not dispute that McClam fired the fatal shot but presented a countertheory as to why he did. Defense attorney Jason Tulley argued his client never saw Karon in the vehicle, which he fired at in defense of himself and the children he was escorting home after the driver allegedly threatened him and sped towards him.

Tulley told the jury McClam has vision problems in his left eye and was purposely trying to miss the driver when he fired his weapon so he could scare him off without striking him.

After approximately five days of deliberations, a jury found the defendant not guilty of first-degree murder while armed, but could not come to a decision on the lesser homicide offenses of second-degree murder while armed and voluntary manslaughter while armed. Jurors convicted him of carrying a pistol without a license, but could not decide on a verdict for any of the other charges in the indictment.

During a March 30 hearing, the prosecution requested a new trial date. Both parties expect the trial to last two weeks barring any complications. 

Judge Maribeth Raffinan scheduled the trial to take place in December. In the meantime, defense counsel plans to file a motion for McClam’s release from DC Jail.