By Michelle Richardson, Special to the AFRO

August 14, a Baltimore jury found Keon Gray guilty in the murder of seven-year-old Taylor Hayes last July.

Gray, was found guilty of second degree murder and a total of seven of 19 counts against him including: second-degree murder of Taylor Hayes and use of a firearm in commission of a crime of violence against Taylor Hayes, among other charges against others involved in the shooting that took Taylor’s life.

Seven-year-old Taylor Hayes was killed last July. On Aug. 14, Keon Gray was found guilty of second-degree murder in her death (AFRO Photo)

Hayes was killed in July 2018 as she rode  in the backseat of a car driven by a family friend. She was struck in the back by a bullet through the trunk and died 2 days later. 

She became one of Baltimore’s youngest victims of gun violence. 

Police have charged Daneka McDonald, 35, who is the girlfriend of Gray with an accessory after the shooting. Her car was allegedly used as the getaway vehicle in the shooting. 

McDonald is scheduled for trial next month. Last month, a judge prohibited  parts of McDonald’s 12-hour police interview when the judge determined detectives allegedly intimidated her.  

Gray’s trial became more controversial when the lead detective in the case was charged with drunk driving and other charges.

Sgt. Kevin T. Brown, 43, of Abingdon  was charged with driving his unmarked police vehicle under the influence after a crash on I95 in Howard County last year. 

The charges are listed as driving while impaired by alcohol, negligent driving and failing to control a vehicle speed to avoid collision, in addition to the charge of carrying a handgun while under the influence of alcohol, court records show. 

When police arrived, Brown identified himself as a Baltimore City police officer. He was arrested at the scene and taken to JFK Memorial Highway Barrack. 

Baltimore Police spokesman Matt Jablow said Brown has been on administrative duty with pay but did not know when the suspension began. Jablow said the department has been aware of the charges. He declined to comment further on the investigation.

A hearing on the matter is scheduled Aug. 23 and a trial date scheduled for Oct. 31.

Brown, whose  testimony is at the center of the trial, allegedly made conflicting statements under oath, leading defense attorneys to claim that Gray is a scapegoat for the BPD’s rushed police work. 

A witness stated the car she seen speeding away from the crime scene was not the same vehicle that Gray was identified in.