Jonathan GordonJun 20, 2018, 4:53 pmJun 21, 2018, 10:17 am

3 men plead not guilty in shooting death in Mount Vernon

Victim's family: Donovan Brown’s life was going to mean something


WHITE PLAINS – Three men accused of assisting in the fatal shooting on a Mount Vernon man this past spring have all pleaded not guilty on Wednesday inside the Westchester County courthouse. Two of the three defendants were arraigned in court, and all three are accused of playing a role in the shooting death of Donovan Brown on March 14.

Tasjawn White, 19, appeared before Westchester Judge Anne Minihan first and is charged with second-degree murder and attempted murder. He pleaded not guilty and is being held in the Westchester County jail.

Philip Spearman, 52, entered the courtroom second; he is charged with second-degree criminal possession of a weapon and hindering prosecution. Spearman's bail remains at $100,000.

"[Spearman] is seen on that video footage that I provided to council, actually unloading the murder weapon and actually taking possession of the victim's stolen backpack and belongings and secreting that," Westchester County ADA Michelle Lopez said.

Spearman's attorney, Robert Gross, tried to get his client's bail lowered.

"He did not understand fully what was going on in this case, the allegations alone was that he held on to something there was no intention," Gross said.

Spearman, White and a third co-defendant, 31-year-old Pierre Mensah, who pleaded not guilty on Tuesday, are accused of shooting Brown Outside of The Modern around midnight on March 14.

Outside of court, Brown's aunts we're highly emotional.

"[Brown] had a life that was going to mean something and it's still going to mean something because his family is not going to let his legacy rest," Donovan Brown's aunt Christine Hanchard said.

"It’s just heartbreaking that my nephew's life was taken so suddenly," Donovan Brown's aunt Natanya Tonge said.

All three defendants are expected back in court on July 10.

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