February 22, 2024
Darion Brown's trial ended with a partial acquittal and a hung jury, but then he accepted a plea deal on charges that he gunned down the 17-year-old girl in Oakland.

OAKLAND — Months after he was partially acquitted, a Pittsburg man has accepted a manslaughter plea deal and 22-year prison term in the 2016 shooting death of a teen girl, court records show.

Darion Brown, 29, pleaded no contest to manslaughter in the death of 17-year-old Alexis Leann Ervin. The Oakley girl was shot a half-dozen times a little before 7 a.m. on June 8, 2016, behind the Rainbow Recreation Center, 5800 International Blvd. in East Oakland. In exchange for his plea, prosecutors dropped a murder charge against him.

Brown went on trial last April, where he was acquitted of first-degree murder. But jurors couldn’t reach a verdict on the lesser offenses, including second-degree murder and manslaughter.

The plea deal was finalized at an Aug. 17 court hearing, records show. Brown has not yet been transferred to state prison. The plea deal gives him credit for the time he’s been behind bars since his arrest, which happened on the same day of the shooting.

His case was hung up for yeas in part due to issues regarding his mental competency for trial and other legal issues.

At one point during the seven-year wait between his arrest and the judgement, Brown moved to fire his public defender and represent himself, but eventually relented. In 2018, a judge found Brown mentally incompetent to stand trial, and ordered him hospitalized so doctors could “restore” him to competency and return him to county jail to face trial.

He also picked up charges of assaulting deputies inside Santa Rita Jail, but those incidents occurred after he’d been already deemed mentally incompetent, court records show.

Brown was also originally charged with human trafficking, but that count was dismissed before his trial. In court papers, prosecutors described Alexis as a “sexually exploited teen” and claimed that Brown was both trafficking her and her boyfriend. Brown and Alexis allegedly took selfie photos together about a block away from where Alexis was killed. Prosecutors claimed that he fired a total of 14 shots at her.

Brown was arrested the same day of the shooting in Berkeley, after citizens called 911 to report that he appeared to be suffering a mental health crisis. Alexis’ hairbrush and a pistol were found in his possession, but in a police interview he denied having shot anyone, court records show.

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