Prosecutors say Navarro Anthony Brown is dead because Michael Jerome Galloway made a rash decision. It’s a decision that Judge William Jackson ruled Friday will leave Galloway behind bars for 15 years.
Brown and Galloway, both then 18, were not fighting on the evening of Jan. 10 when Brown was found on the sidewalk bleeding from his head in the 3200 block of 23rd Street Southeast, where both men lived with their families. But that didn’t stop a conversation between the men from ending in gunfire.
Prosecutors say Brown was in an altercation with the teenage sister of one of Galloway’s friends, which Galloway observed from a distance. Galloway then approached Brown – once his elementary school classmate – and spoke to him. When Brown ran away, Galloway pulled out a handgun and shot him in the back of the head, discarding the weapon in a storm drain.
It took police seven months to gather enough evidence to arrest Galloway. When they questioned him, Galloway admitted to shooting Brown. According to court records, he told them he meant to shoot at Brown but did not intend to kill him.
Galloway pled guilty to voluntary manslaughter while armed, which under sentencing guidelines imposed between 7.5 and 15 years behind bars.
In court, Jackson lamented what he called a senseless killing.
“We’ve got one person dead and another behind bars,” Jackson said. “What a waste.”
Jackson said he could not get past the fact that Brown was unarmed, was fleeing from Galloway and that the altercation had not been physical.
Defense attorney Janet Mitchell said Galloway had trouble communicating with his peers. Once nicknamed “Fat Mike,” he recently lost 100 pounds after receiving treatment for a thyroid condition, she said.
Galloway apologized to Brown’s family in court.
“I wish I could go back and change it,” Galloway said softly.
Galloway also faced simple assault charges for a June incident in which he allegedly assaulted and threatened a woman he had been warned to stay away from. His plea agreement also required him to plead guilty to those charges.
Jackson ruled that the sentence will not be expunged from Galloway’s record upon his release. Galloway will also serve five years of supervised release.
Mitchell said Galloway was often depressed and wary of leaving his bedroom after the shooting. The sentencing was a “burden off his shoulders,” Mitchell said.