SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco Mayor London Breed’s incarcerated brother could get a reduction in his 44-year manslaughter sentence after a judge ruled Monday that he can be resentenced according to new sentencing laws.
The judge’s decision that Napoleon Brown, Breed’s older brother, could be resentenced followed recent changes to the definition of murder in California, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Brown has served more than half of a 44-year sentence for a 2000 conviction for armed robbery, carjacking and involuntary manslaughter. He is scheduled to return to court on April 3.
In 2000, Brown and another man robbed a diner in San Francisco, and fled over the Golden Gate Bridge. His then-girlfriend, who was driving the getaway car, was either pushed or fell from the vehicle — and was fatally struck by a drunken driver.
Brown’s attorney, Marc Zilversmit, has argued for a reduced prison term based on the 2018 revision to California’s definition of murder. The new law says that prosecutors can charge a suspect with murder only if he or she killed someone, solicited the killing or acted with “reckless indifference to human life” when someone was slain.
The district attorney’s office has opposed Brown being resentenced and argued that he wasn’t eligible for resentencing because he was the “actual killer.” Brown’s legal team argued that the killer was the drunken driver.
The case made headlines again last year after San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins asked the attorney general’s office to handle the case over fears of a conflict of interest because Breed appointed Jenkins to office to replace ousted District Attorney Chesa Boudin. The attorney general refused, saying the agency could simply make sure Jenkins didn’t touch the case.
In 2018, Breed was fined $2,500 for using official stationery to write Governor Jerry Brown asking to commute her brother’s sentence.