Maryland man accused of killing woman, son who witnessed murder

    Authorities say Andre Ricardo 'Poo' Briscoe shot the child in the head and mouth to prevent him from talking to police. 

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    A Maryland drug dealer has been charged with the 2015 killings of a young mother and her 7-year-old son. 

    Andre Ricardo “Poo” Briscoe, 37, was already in custody when a grand jury indicted him last week on federal drug and firearms charges tied to the murder of Jennifer Jeffrey, 31, and her son Kester Browne. The shootings occurred in their Southwest Baltimore home on May 27, 2015, PEOPLE reports. 

    Briscoe was first arrested in May on drug distribution charges related to the date of the killings. Judge Richard D. Bennett outlined in a court filing last month that Jeffrey was a heroin dealer and Briscoe was her “weekly or twice weekly customer.”

    “From March through October 2015, Briscoe conspired with others to distribute heroin,” reads a statement from the Department of Justice. “The indictment alleges that on May 27, 2015, in connection with his drug distribution, Briscoe committed an armed robbery and during the course of the robbery shot and killed Jennifer Jeffrey and Jeffrey’s seven-year-old child.”

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    Authorities say Briscoe shot the child in the head and mouth to prevent him from telling police what he witnessed. 

    “These murders are shocking and unconscionable,” the statement quotes U.S. Attorney Rob Hur as saying. “This indictment should make one thing crystal clear: If you touch a witness, especially a child, the full weight of federal law enforcement will be harnessed to find you and bring you to justice. And we will not stop investigating until we bring to justice anyone else who was involved.”

    Briscoe’s attorney, William Purpura, told The Sun that the timing of the charges against his client are quite suspect. While there is no statute of limitations for murder, the killings are connected to federal drug trafficking charges, and prosecutors are subject to the filing time limits.

    “It’s kind of perplexing and mysterious and concerning to Mr. Briscoe,” Purpura told the paper.

    “There’s going to be an issue of when the killings actually occurred,” he said, noting that Briscoe can prove he was living in Cambridge at the time of the murders. 

    Briscoe has been charged with “federal drug distribution charges, use of a firearm to commit murder in relation to the drug trafficking crimes, killing a witness to prevent communication with law enforcement, and being a felon in possession of a firearm and ammunition,” the statement indicates.

    If convicted, he faces either death or life in prison.

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