Germantown Man Found Guilty Of Beating Friend to Death
Brenden Lamont "BJ" Dashiell was on trial two days for killing Justin Eugene Carter during a July Fourth weekend barbecue.
A Germantown man was found guilty of involuntary manslaughter for killing his friend in a fistfight.
The jury rendered the verdict against Brenden Lamont "BJ" Dashiell in Montgomery County Circuit Court on Tuesday, with Judge Ronald Rubin presiding.
Dashiell, 25, was on trial for killing Justin Eugene Carter during Fourth of July weekend barbecue at Carter's Gaithersburg home. Witnesses testified that the two were like "brothers." After the verdict, Dashiell pleaded with the judge not to revoke his bail.
"I just want to tell my daughters goodbye," Dashiell, who was sobbing, told the judge. Dashiell was referring to his two young daughters.
The wish went unfulfilled. Dashiell's bail was revoked, and he left the courthouse in handcuffs.
Sentencing was set for April 23.
In order to render a guilty verdict, the jury had to find that the death occurred during the commission and as a result of an illegal act — in this case, either an assault or what is known as a mutual affray, when at least two people are mutually involved in a public fight that disturbs the peace.
Defense attorney Adam Harris was unable to prove Dashiell acted in self-defense;Harris also failed to prove the crux of his opening statement and summation: The conflict was simply a "fight among guys" that resulted in a tragic, but accidental death.
Harris declined to comment after the ruling.
According to witness testimony, Dashiell and Carter were "play wrestling" on Carter's back porch when Dasheill injured his arm. A verbal exchange devolved into a fistfight when Carter mistakenly thought Dashiell shoved his wife, Evelyn Carter, according to witness testimony.
After the fight dispersed, Justin Carter extended his hand to Dashiell for a conciliatory “shake,” according to witness testimony, but Dashiell rejected the gesture. Carter got mad and kicked over Dashiell’s moped, sparking the third and final fight in which Carter collapsed and never got back up.
Carter was pronounced dead at Shady Grove Adventist Hospital.
The death was ruled a homicide after an autopsy determined blunt force trauma was the cause of death.
Both the men had been drinking, according to witness testimony.
After the ruling, the mother of Evelyn Carter — Evelyn Carter is Justin Eugene Carter's wife — had to be escorted from the courthouse by law enforcement after she slapped Dashiell's girlfriend, who is her daughter, according to several witness accounts.
Further details were unavailable as of press time Tuesday.
Assistant State’s Attorneys Sherri Koch and Mark Anderson were not immediately available for comment after the proceedings.