39-year-old Thomas Earl Brown Jr. was sentenced to life in prison for the fatal shooting of a Kansas bride as she left her reception while still in her wedding dress.
Brown faces more than 70 years in prison for the 2014 murder of Tiffany Davenport-Ray, 42, and the attempted murder of her husband, Melvin Ray. Brown will have eligibility for parole after he serves 25 years.
Brown’s previous criminal history includes three felonies and a conviction for voluntary manslaughter.
On May 25, 2014, Davenport-Ray and Ray finished their wedding ceremony and had gone to their reception. After the reception, they got in their car and started to drive away when she was shot in the head by a bullet fired from an SUV.
When the shooting occurred, Ray reached in the glove box and retrieved his wife’s pistol. Ray returned fire toward the SUV and was not wounded during the shooting. According to prosecutors, there were two other assailants in the SUV.
Co-defendant Awnterio Dwan Lowery has also been sentenced to life in prison and the third assailant, Jermel Ramond Robbins Sr., 26, was killed by gunfire several weeks after the wedding shooting.
Judge David Debenham could not see any connection between the shooters and the victims. Debenham said it is “inconceivable” that Davenport-Ray was killed only hours after the wedding.
“A person is entitled to be married for more than nine hours,” Debenham said.