Brandon Payton, 22, has been sentenced to life plus 20 years for the murder of Steven Bass, 33, in June 2015. In September, Payton was convicted of first and second degree murder, as well as the use of a firearm in the commission of a crime of violence.
Adam Lane Chaudry, Assistant State’s Attorney, prosecuted the case.
Brandon Payton, 22, was convicted of killing Steven Bass, 33, while dressed as a woman. (Baltimore Police Department)
On June 12, 2015, Baltimore City Police responded to the 2200 Block of North Fulton Avenue for a shots fired call. When officers arrived, they found Bass lying on the sidewalk suffering from multiple gunshot wounds to the back area. Bass was transported to the hospital where he was pronounced dead.
As the investigation into Bass murder developed, detectives obtained video footage from a nearby liquor store which captured the shooting on outside surveillance cameras. The video showed Payton dressed in female clothing, including a dark-colored summer hat, multi-colored blouse, and light blue pants with a purse on his right shoulder, walking along Pennsylvania Avenue towards North Fulton Avenue prior to the shooting.
Payton then proceeded onto North Fulton, crossing the street to the same side where Bass was located.
According to the video footage, Bass begins to be chased by Payton eastbound through traffic. Bass fell on the sidewalk in the 2200 block of Fulton Avenue where Payton caught up to him, shooting the victim four times in the back. Payton then fled the scene.
A witness who said he saw the shooting told police that the shooter had touched a car. Police were able to lift Payton’s fingerprints from the vehicle.
In a statement released to the public, States Attorney Marilyn Mosby praised the witness for coming forward.
“Witness cooperation is crucial to guaranteeing that these criminals who wreak havoc on our streets are held accountable. I want to commend this person for stepping forward, setting an example for others to follow and helping us get another ruthless killer off the streets of Baltimore.”
Mosby went on to also say “This case illustrates that criminals go to great lengths to cover their crimes; however, this case is a testament that my office will collaborate with the police and together, we will go to great lengths to prosecute and hold them accountable.”
On line court records show that Payton killed Bass eight days after he had been released on bail on charges stemming from the unrest following the April 2015 death of Freddie Gray.
Payton was charged May 28 with charges of rioting, malicious destruction of property, disorderly conduct and burglary.
Payton made national headlines during the Baltimore unrest when he was photographed “fist bumping” a National Guard soldier by the Associated Press. The photo was picked up by news sites around the country.
Police haven’t released a motive for Payton killing Bass.