A former drug dealer convicted in a Toledo man’s fatal shooting in 2001 was granted early release from prison Tuesday.
Raymond L. Brown, 32, was to have stayed behind bars until November, 2015, but Lucas County Common Pleas Judge Frederick McDonald made good on his promise to release Brown after 12 years if he stayed out of trouble in prison.
Brown did more than that: he completed college courses and self-improvement programs and served as a mentor to other inmates while classified as a minimum-security prisoner.
“This is highly unusual that anyone would do as much as this guy did,” the judge said afterward.
Brown was sentenced to 12 years for involuntary manslaughter and a firearms specification for the Sept. 11, 2001, death of Willie L. Malone, 44, who was shot as he ran from a Starr Avenue crack house. Brown’s half-brother, Marcus Portillo, was sentenced to four years in prison for involuntary manslaughter and attempted abduction stemming from the same incident.
Brown was to have served two additional years in prison for an unrelated charge of crack-cocaine possession.
He told the court Tuesday that he had taken responsibility for what he did and would be “forever remorseful” for ending Mr. Malone’s life. He plans to complete his college education and work as a mentor with a Columbus-area youth organization.
“Over the years I’ve done well in the institution,” Brown told the court. “I plan to continue to do well upon my release.”
Judge McDonald placed Brown on probation for three years and ordered that he live with a couple in Hilliard, Ohio who assured the court Brown could live with them.
During his probation, Brown is to complete drug and alcohol treatment, undergo random testing, ingest no alcohol or nonprescription drugs, and seek and maintain employment.