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Her son was murdered 2 years ago. She says those who killed him were let off easy.

Posted at 12:31 PM, Jun 09, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-09 12:31:51-04

RICHMOND, Va. -- Just under two years ago, Antonio Brown, a 28-year-old father of four, was shot multiple times and killed while inside a car parked at the Tiger's Mart in Gilpin Court.

While the men who were involved were quickly arrested, his mother, Ramona Brown, said due to the pandemic and officers leaving Richmond, the case took longer than expected.

She feels that justice in the case was sacrificed due to the circumstances.

"It starts downtown. It starts with those in the big office. It starts with them. They have to take the first step. You can't blame the police. They out here every day putting their life on the line," Ramona said.

Brown said that her son's murder case was compromised and the gunman and his accomplice were let off easy because of new laws and plea deals.

"I blame the ones who pull the trigger and the justice system down here. They keep letting these young men do crimes, go to jail and let them back out. And it seems like for a murder case down here, us killing our own kind, the most they get is five to 10 years. Some of them are getting three," Ramona said.

Travis Thomas, now 18, will serve 25 years for two murders in Richmond. He was convicted in Antonio's death and also in the death of 17-year-old J'Marri Saunders in Mosby Court in 2019.

The second suspect in Antonio's case, Gregory White, got even less time.

"I was expecting him to get 45 years to life and all he got was 10 years," Ramona said.

"Every crime is unique, every situation is unique. What I would say to the parent who is unhappy, especially the parent of a victim of gun violence, is that the Commonwealth Attorney's Office takes those cases most seriously because those are the worst types of cases. But that also means we need community support. We need people who are willing to testify in court. We need witnesses who will say on the stand what they say on the street," Todd Stone, a legal expert for WTVR CBS 6, said.

Ramona said that witness participation was lacking in her son's trial. She adds that she thinks his case was slighted by a system that's corroded with political correctness.

"The system down here in Virginia, they've got to do better. The legislatures, the ones sitting downtown in the big office. They got to do better than this because they're causing families more harm and hurt. They talk about all these programs to stop the violence and this and that. Well, make these boys do hard time for what they doing. Maybe it'll stop the killings out there."

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