Teen rapper ‘Baby K’ pleads guilty to attempted murder in Maryland school bus attack

Prince George's County State's Attorney Aisha Braveboy speaks following "Baby K" plea deal. (WTOP/Mike Murillo)

A 16-year-old known as “Baby K” has taken a plea deal in the case tied to the attempted killing of a student on a Prince George’s County, Maryland, school bus in May 2023.

Under the terms of the deal, “Baby K,” whose real name is Kaeden Holland, pleaded guilty to attempted first-degree murder and weapons charges. The deal calls for a 60-year sentence, with all but 25 years suspended. That means if the judge accepts the deal during sentencing, Holland would spend 25 years behind bars.

While Prince George’s County State’s Attorney Aisha Braveboy acknowledged that’s a lengthy prison time given Holland was 15 at the time of the crime, she said it’s justified in this case.

“The result of what could have been, had that gun fired, would have been permanent. So we believe that this is an appropriate request from the state,” Braveboy said.

The deal also calls for Holland to serve his time at the Patuxtent Institution, a maximum-security, adult prison that offers therapy and counseling programs.

“The programs at that institution, we believe, will provide Mr. Holland with the best opportunity for rehabilitation and to be able, at some point in the future, to reenter our community safely,” Braveboy said.

Holland will be sentenced May 17.

Attempted first-degree murder carries a maximum penalty of life in prison in Prince George’s County, while Holland faced an additional 20 years for the weapons charge.

Prosecutors said during the plea hearing Thursday that if the case went to trial, they would have shown that Holland tried to shoot the victim three times, but his gun malfunctioned. Another teen who was with Holland during the attack would have testified against him, which prosecutors said would have confirmed the facts they presented.

“This was a very serious case,” Braveboy said. “It was important for Mr. Holland and other young people to know that there are consequences for your actions. It does not matter how old you are. My job, that of prosecutor, that of top law enforcement officer, is to hold you, or anyone who commits offenses here in our county, accountable and protect and get justice for our victims.”

One week ago, a judge ruled Holland would have been tried as an adult, had his case gone to trial. While more than 80% of these cases get sent back down to juvenile court, Judge Michael Whelan cited the fact Holland was previously charged with gun violations at age 14 and did not complete the terms of his probation.

During last week’s court hearing, Michael Lawlor, the lead defense attorney, said Holland was shot in the leg at 14 and has seen multiple friends killed by gun violence. He said his client has been greatly affected by that trauma.

Lawlor argued last week that Holland “is a child, that is a matter of fact,” and that the crime he pleaded guilty to on Thursday happened when he was too young to be mature enough to know.

The juvenile system would better help turn the teenager’s life around, Lawlor argued last week, and if he went through the adult system, he would become a bigger risk to engage in more criminal behavior.

Police referred to Holland as Baby K and shared photos of him while they were searching for him last May. He has appeared in multiple rap music videos under the name “BabyK 2800.”

WTOP’s Mike Murillo contributed to this report.

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Thomas Robertson

Thomas Robertson is an Associate Producer and Web Writer/Editor at WTOP. After graduating in 2019 from James Madison University, Thomas moved away from Virginia for the first time in his life to cover the local government beat for a small daily newspaper in Zanesville, Ohio.

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