Contact: Beth Stone
BROCKTON – The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court today affirmed the First Degree Murder and firearm convictions of Kyle Bryant in the shooting death of a 26 year-old man in Brockton, Plymouth County District Attorney Timothy J. Cruz has announced.
On January 5, 2010, 26 year-old Darnell Harrison was shot four times behind The Lit Bar in Brockton. During a two-week trial in October, 2013, the evidence established that Bryant was the shooter. The jury deliberated two hours before finding Bryant, then 31 years-old, guilty of one count each of Murder in the First Degree and Unlawful Possession of a Firearm. The mandatory sentence of Life in State Prison without the possibility of parole was imposed. Additionally, Bryant was sentenced to serve four to five years concurrently on the firearm conviction.
The defendant argued on appeal that testimony about his prior actions as a drug distributor should not have been allowed at trial, the jury was given improper instructions on identification, and he requested a mistrial based on witness testimony. The SJC held that the judge properly allowed testimony from three witnesses regarding Bryant’s prior bad acts of drug dealing and that the jury received appropriate instructions prior to their deliberations. The SJC further held that the trial judge immediately struck the objectionable witness testimony and gave a forceful instruction that cured the error. “This was not a random act of violence but an attack of revenge against Mr. Harrison,” DA Cruz said. “This shooting occurred at a particularly violent time in the city, and State Police and Brockton Police worked hard to solve this case.
Today’s SJC decision reinforces the fact that justice was done in this case for the people of Brockton, the victim, and his family, and a murderer is off the streets.”
Assistant District Attorney Thomas Flanagan prosecuted the case and Assistant District Attorney Audrey Anderson handled the case on Appeal.