Tavon Miles, 28, was handed a life-sentence in the death of a small-time drug dealer in the Norbeck area of Silver Spring in Maryland. Miles, with other accomplices, had allegedly invaded a luxury home in 2014, armed with knives and baseball bats, killing one of the occupants, Marc St. Aubin.
As The Washington Post reports, Miles, appearing in a packed courtroom on Thursday, said he was innocent of the charges.
“I ain’t had nothing to do with what went on in that house. I hope one day the truth will come out, and ya’ll get the closure and I can be set free.”
Miles’ claims of innocence did nothing for Montgomery County Circuit Court Judge Joseph Quirk, who handed him a life sentence for murder, plus 10 years for armed robbery and another 10 years for burglary. “You will answer for that today…several others responsible have not answered, but hopefully justice will one day be served,” Judge Quirk said.
— Carol Carmel (@bouncethisback1) August 30, 2015
Marc St. Aubin was killed in 2014 when masked assailants attacked a house in the Montgomery Norbeck area. The men were after marijuana and money, a brisk business one of St. Aubin’s roommates was allegedly involved in. They had kicked in the door on a cold night in March, prompting two of the occupants to hide themselves in a bathtub. St. Aubin, armed with a handgun, refused to take cover and opened fire on the attackers. He let off six rounds, four of them hitting Miles. The remaining men, enraged, turned on St. Aubin, bludgeoning him with baseball bats and stabbing him repeatedly.
After the attack, the occupants of the house, allegedly not wanting to be picked up for their illicit stash, tried to get rid of the guns, cash and drugs inside the house. Two of the occupants fled, three others helped the stabbed St. Aubin to his car and also fled. The trio hid at a 7-Eleven, where one of their mothers picked them up and drove them to her home.
The judge had some harsh words for them, saying that St. Aubin had a strong chance for survival, but died because his friends put their own interests first. He went on to say that they would also be held accountable for the role that they played in the home invasion in the future.
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Miles was taken to the hospital by his accomplices, and he was left outside to be found. He was eventually connected to the robbery when a blood spatter from Miles’ shoes matched St. Aubin’s blood.
Prosecutors were pushing for a life sentence for Miles, and an additional 40 years as a deterrent to the other alleged attackers who are still at large. “The accomplices of the defendant in this home invasion have never been caught, certainly they will be aware of this court’s sentence,” the prosecutors wrote.
Miles’ attorneys, Barry Helfand and David Martella, tried to make a case for their client, saying that his long history of PCP use undermined his thinking ability and decision-making process. The attorneys also denied that Miles was part of the home invasion, supporting his claim that he was at the home to buy drugs and had been caught in the melee that erupted.
The attorneys painted a picture of a tough and rough childhood. They catalogued the life of a young boy who had no father figure to tell him right from wrong, a lull that led him to a life of petty crime, but prosecutors argued that Miles was in cahoots with the men who raided the home and had planned everything.
Prosecutors also pointed out that Miles had given contradictory versions of what happened that day. According to a court affidavit, Detectives Mark McCoy and Sean Reilly had interviewed the defendant, asking who shot him. He had said he had been shot while taking a walk outside the hospital. He had said that he was with friends, but refused to say who they were and when asked if he wanted the shooter to be found, replied that “it was not important.”
Do you think Tavon Miles deserves the death penalty?
[Image via Shutterstock/sebra]