Maryland man sentenced for shooting deemed a hate crime

BALTIMORE (AP) — A Maryland man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison after a jury found him guilty of a hate crime and others charges in the shooting of a Black man, authorities said.

Brandon Troy Higgs, 25, of Reisterstown, was arrested in December 2018 after shooting Elvis Smith in the leg while shouting racial slurs as they fought, The Baltimore Sun reported Thursday. Smith and another man had been laying a concrete driveway nearby when Higgs’ dog ran through the wet concrete, according to court records.

Higgs was found guilty Wednesday of first-degree assault, attempted voluntary manslaughter, hate crimes and related firearms charges, Baltimore County State’s Attorney Scott Shellenberger said.

According to court records, when Higgs came outside for his dog, the three men began arguing.

Smith and the other man went back to work before Higgs returned with a loaded handgun and an extra magazine in his jacket, according to Shellenberger’s office.

Authorities said Smith was shot in the leg while he and the second man tried to disarm Higgs. According to the state’s attorney, they were able to disarm Higgs and hold him until police arrived.

Shellenberger said Higgs also will have to serve five years probation and a possible 15 years in prison if he violates his probation.

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