Kansas man gets life in prison for killing bride still in her wedding gown

Thomas Earl Brown Jr. was sentenced for the murder of a new bride still in her wedding gown and the attempted murder of her new husband.

Luther Vandross was outed as gay after his death.

Thomas Earl Brown Jr. was sentenced on Tuesday for the murder of a new bride still in her wedding gown as well as the attempted murder of her new husband. The two sentences totaled more than 70 years in prison for Brown.

Brown was convicted of the shooting death of Tiffany Davenport-Ray, 42, and attempted premeditated first-degree murder of Melvin Ray. He was one of two men convicted in this case. The second man, Awnterio Dwan Lowery, was sentenced in September to consecutive life terms in prison.

Davenport-Ray and Ray were killed just after their wedding. They were driving away from their reception when an SUV drove up to them. Davenport-Ray was killed when a bullet hit her in the head, and Ray grabbed his wife’s pistol to try to return fire. She was still wearing her wedding dress, and Ray was still wearing his tuxedo.

District Judge David Debenham said that there was no reason for Davenport-Ray to have been killed, calling the murder “inconceivable.”

“A person is entitled to be married for more than nine hours,” Debenham said.

In addition to the attempted premeditated murder charge and the charge in the death of Davenport-Ray, Brown was also convicted of and sentenced for six other felonies, which will run concurrently with the murder and attempted murder convictions.

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