MURDER USA Davonte Braxton Arrested and Charged in Murder of Edmond St. Clair at UMES

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MURDER USA Davonte Braxton Arrested and Charged in Murder of Edmond St. Clair at UMES

(PRINCESS ANNE, MD) – A Maryland State Police homicide investigation has led to the indictment and arrest on Oct. 20, 2017, of a Baltimore man who recently was convicted in a drug distribution rap in Somerset County, for the murder of a University of Maryland Eastern Shore student more than four years ago.

The suspect was identified by Maryland State Police spokesman Greg Shipley as Davonta Maurice Braxton, 25, of 3236 Kelox Rd., Baltimore, Md.  Braxton was arrested about 10:30 a.m. on Oct. 20th, on the campus of the University of Maryland Eastern Shore (UMES).  He has been charged on an indictment from a Somerset County Grand Jury with second-degree murder, manslaughter, first-degree assault and second-degree assault.  He has been taken to the Maryland State Police Princess Anne Barrack for processing and will later be transported to the Somerset County Detention Center to await his initial appearance before a court commissioner.

Braxton is charged in connection with the murder of Edmond Aaron St. Clair, 21, of Severn, Md., who was a student at the University of Maryland Eastern Shore.  Police say that Braxton has been a student at the university intermittently but is not currently enrolled there, according to school records.

Police spokesman Shipley reported that at about 9:00 p.m. on February 16, 2013, St. Clair was a passenger in a car traveling to the University of Maryland Eastern Shore campus.  Not far from the Student Services Center, St. Clair and those he was traveling with encountered several people who were walking in the street.

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The investigation revealed St. Clair got out of the car and an altercation occurred, during which he was stabbed in the upper torso.  He was taken to a hospital where he was pronounced deceased.

During a search of the area near the crime scene, State Police investigators and crime scene technicians recovered a folding knife.  The knife was examined at the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division crime laboratory.  Evidence was found on the knife that positively connected it to the murder of St. Clair.  Also found on the knife was DNA evidence from an unknown contributor.

Through their ongoing investigation of this murder, Maryland State Police Homicide Unit investigators were able to identify Braxton as a possible suspect.  A search warrant was obtained, and DNA was obtained from Braxton.  Scientists at the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division Laboratory determined the DNA evidence found on the knife was a positive match with the suspect’s DNA.

Evidence developed in this investigation was presented by the Somerset County State’s Attorney’s Office to a Grand Jury.  The presentation resulted in the criminal indictment.

UMES at Princess Anne. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photos

Investigative assistance was provided to the State Police Homicide Unit by the Somerset County Narcotics Task Force, the Somerset County State’s Attorney’s Office and the University of Maryland Eastern Shore Police Department.  Troopers and criminal investigators from the State Police Princess Anne Barrack also provided assistance, as did members of the Maryland State Police Forensic Sciences Division.  Maryland State Police Homicide Unit investigators also credited officials from the University of Maryland Eastern Shore for their cooperation and assistance throughout the investigation.

The Somerset County Circuit Courthouse. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

Shipley told THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY that detectives have never given up on this investigation and kept examining all avenues to bring about a successful conclusion.

St. Clair, a graduate of Laurel High School in 2010, was hosting his brother and a friend at UMES for the homecoming weekend. The victim, his brother, and a friend had driven from campus to pick up Chinese food in the town of Princess Anne. In the car with St. Clair, according to the Baltimore Sun, were a friend, Tre Hardy and the brother of the victim, Isaiah St. Clair, when several men stood in the road and refused to budge – a tactic often used by cattle and punks to slow traffic. Such a technique is sometimes used to stage a robbery.

St. Clair reportedly told his brother and Hardy to chill out in the car while he alighted from the Honda in which they were traveling to reason with the road blockers. St. Clair’s effort at negotiation resulted in being stabbed through the heart.

St. Clair reportedly told his brother and Hardy to chill out in the car while he alighted from the Honda in which they were traveling to reason with the road blockers. St. Clair’s effort at negotiation resulted in being stabbed through the heart.  Hardy ran to summon a campus police officer while the road blockers lingered in the area before sauntering away from the crime scene. Edmond St. Clair told his brother he had been stabbed in the heart. Edmond was taken to a hospital while Isaiah St. Clair and Hardy were interviewed. During the night, Edmond St. Clair died.

Appearing at the homecoming weekend at UMES was nationally known rapper 2 Chainz and police had beefed up security for the event.

The Sun reported that Edmond St. Clair was a native of Trinidad, planned to study medicine and become an emergency room doctor. The website ourstage.com reports that “Trini Wes” was born on the islands of Trinidad and Tobago, without any explanation of how a birth could take place on two islands simultaneously. The note on the website said he composes music in Dancehall, Soca, Reggae, hip hop and R n B genres.

Edmond St. Clair performed as a DJ known as “Trini Wes.” His song posted on YouTube is entitled “Females are Trouble,” however it was a male armed with a long knife and standing in the road blocking his path to a Chinese carryout that ended his life.  St. Clair was remembered by an instructor as an outstanding student with a high degree of proficiency in organic chemistry. His mother told reporters that he dreamed of becoming an emergency room doctor or a surgeon.  A brush with the law resulted in assault charges being dropped and also acquitted, both of which have been expunged from court records.

Braxton was charged by the Somerset County States Attorney on Feb. 13, 2017, with a special Valentine’s Day Criminal Information accusing him of being a drug dealer after being arrested on Oct. 30, 2016, in a Halloween bust for allegedly dealing drugs by UMES Police Officer George.

Braxton quickly enlisted a free attorney, Jennifer Marie Turnbull, of the public defender’s office in Princess Anne, courtesy of the taxpayers of Maryland. A plea deal, which usually means that a drug dealer flips on other drug dealers to get a better deal for himself, was arranged between States Attorney Dan Powell and Turnbull. THE DEAL: Braxton entered a plea of guilty to possession of marijuana and to illegal possession of prescription pills with the intent to distribute with six other counts dropped as part of the deal.  The result of this courtroom bartering was that Braxton got a year in the slammer with ALL of the jail time suspended.

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