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Maryland man gets life for state trooper's death

Thursday - 5/10/2012, 1:40pm  ET

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State Trooper Wesley Brown, 24, was working off-duty as a security guard at the Applebee's when he was shot. At the time of the shooting, he had recently become engaged. (Courtesy of Maryland State Police)
By ERIC TUCKER
Associated Press

UPPER MARLBORO, Md. - A man who shot an off-duty Maryland state trooper who kicked him out of a restaurant was ordered Thursday to spend the rest of his life behind bars by a judge who called him a threat to society and liable to kill again if free.

Cyril Cornelius Williams, 29, made no apologies to the family of Wesley Brown as he was sentenced to life without the possibility of parole plus 25 years. His lawyers, who made no arguments during the sentencing hearing, said he maintained his innocence and was appealing the conviction.

"Your vengeful acts deprived our community of a young public servant and of a crusader for the at-risk youth of this county," Prince George's County Circuit Court Judge Sean Wallace said in imposing the maximum possible sentence for the June 2010 murder.

Williams was convicted of first-degree murder in February for shooting Brown outside an Applebee's restaurant in Forestville, in suburban Washington. Brown was working part-time security when he and his partner threw Williams out of the restaurant for being disruptive, including urinating on a fellow patron. Even after Williams shoved Brown's partner in the chest, Brown permitted him to leave the bar instead of arresting him.

It proved to be a fateful decision.

A vengeful Williams drove away to pick up a gun from a friend, returned to the restaurant and shot Brown multiple times. That friend, Anthony Milton, has pleaded guilty to being an accessory after the fact.

Defense lawyers argued during the trial that there was a lack of physical evidence connecting Williams to the murder and had said the prosecution's case was based on jailhouse informants with questionable motives.

Prosecutor Tara Harrison requested the harshest possible sentence, calling Williams a "lawless" criminal with a lengthy rap sheet who had bragged about the murder.

"You cannot murder the persons who are here to protect you. It is evil and it is uncivilized. Our society cannot stomach it," she said.

Brown's fiancée, Ebony Norris, tearfully confronted Williams, calling Brown a "man I always dreamed of" and saying she wasn't surprised that he had permitted his eventual killer to go free instead of arresting him on the spot.

"He was everything, and I knew he gave that man right there a chance because that's who Wesley was," Norris said.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)