Danny Clyburn Jr., the well-known and much loved Major League Baseball player, was shot and killed by his lifelong friend Derrick Mcllwain on February 7, 2012. Mcllwain has just been sentenced to 15 years behind bars after pleading guilty to the prosecutor’s charge of voluntary manslaughter.
The shooting took place during an early morning argument between the two men, which turned violent. Mcllwain was found guilty of shooting Clyburn in the heart with an unlicensed gun.
Mcllwain, who was originally charged with murder, told police that he was angry at his friend Clyburn for “never doing anything for anybody in the ‘hood’ after starting to play baseball.”
That plea was negotiated after a claim of self-defense on Mcllwain’s part as Clyburn had marijuana in his system at the time of the argument, which ultimately led to his untimely death.
The victim’s sister, Alisha Clyburn, was outraged by the sentence handed down to her brother’s killer stating: “That 15 years is not worth a person’s life.” She continued to address Mcllwain in court saying: “My brother didn’t have any gun. You should have been a man.”
William Frick, the Assistant public defender, said that his client feared for his life against the bigger and stronger Clyburn. He told Circuit Court Judge Brian Gibbons that: “McIlwain didn’t get out of the ‘hood’, He didn’t get out of Lancaster. A lot of people carry small pistols around the ‘hood in Lancaster for protection. I don’t like it, but it is a fact of life.”
The Herald Online reports that Mcllwain was unemployed at the time he killed Clyburn, and had no fixed address. The fact that he had a string of previous offenses on his record, and was angry at his friend, didn’t help matters.
The shooting took place in a small abandoned house which was known as a party spot where men met to drink and play cards. The house is situated just a few doors down from where Danny Clyburn Jr. grew up.