Reviewing the Trial: Murder Defendant Found Not Guilty in 16 Y/O’s Death

After being held for two years, a murder defendant was found not guilty of the murder of a 16-year-old girl.

On Feb. 8, a jury found Saeve Evans not guilty of first-degree murder while armed, possession of a firearm during a crime of violence and obstruction of justice in connection to the death of Breyona McMillian on the 1200 block of I Street, SE in 2016.

However, Evans, 32, was found guilty of unlawful possession of a firearm with a prior conviction.

Throughout a nearly three week trial, the jury heard from several witnesses, including an eyewitness who was standing near McMillian when she was fatally shot.

According to the eyewitness, she was smoking marijuana with McMillian and Evans near the Potomac Gardens parking lot while waiting for a ride. The witness said that she heard multiple gunshots as she was walked to her friend’s car. She said she didn’t see anyone shooting and doesn’t know what direction the bullets came from because she was ducking.

When the shooting ended, the witness said she confronted Evans, who had a micro uzi pistol, and asked if he’d shot McMillian. His response was, “No. They did,” referring to a group of people in a black Nissan that had entered the area.

According to the defense’s theory, Evans opened fire at the vehicle in self-defense after seeing movement in the car. The defense said a shooter in the vehicle shot McMillian.

According to the defense, the shooter in the vehicle was Sean Shuler, also known as “Black Sean.” Apparently, Evans and Shuler, 26, had a longstanding feud. Defense attorney James King said Shuler was convicted of shooting Evans at least sixteen times in 2012.

Shuler was killed on Jan. 26, the weekend before the prosecution wanted him to testify.  

However, the prosecution argued that Evans was the only shooter and that he opened fire out of paranoia. “He was shooting at ghosts,” the prosecutor told the jury.

Apparently, another witness told the jury that Shuler was with him during the time of the murder.

An expert witness also analyzed Shuler’s cellphone records, saying Shuler’s phone was not in the area at the time of the shooting. Even so, the expert noted that cell phone records only show the location of a phone, not a person.

Another expert witness said there was no evidence that a weapon was fired from the vehicle. The car was not tested for gunshot residue.

A ballistics expert noted that there were 16 shell casings found near the scene, which could have indicated that there was more than one shooter. Apparently, some of the shell casings were fired from the same gun, but it’s unclear whether the remaining casings were shot from another gun.

Evans is scheduled to be sentenced for the gun charge on May 3. He is still being held without bond.

Read more about Evans’ trial here.