At the conclusion of a three-day trial Thursday, a jury of seven men and five women in Florida found defendant Brandon McLean guilty as charged with First-Degree Murder for the brutal killing of his girlfriend.
Immediately after the verdict, McLean was sentenced to life in prison for the crime.
According to investigators, on April 20, 2020, the victim’s dead body was discovered on a walking/bike trail in Osteen.
The next day, the victim’s car was tracked to a laundromat in Sanford, and McLean was with it.
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When Seminole County Sheriff’s deputies approached, the defendant ran away, pulled a handgun, and fired at them. The deputies returned fire and wounded McLean.
Once detained, McLean was searched, and deputies found his girlfriend’s driver’s license, bank cards, and car keys. The defendant was also in possession of a box cutter with blood.
Blood samples from the weapon in McLean’s pocket and the passenger seat of the car were tested, and a positive match to the victim’s DNA.
Cell phone records also show that McLean’s and the victim’s phones traveled together to the trail where her body was found, and then both phones traveled away from the scene.
Further investigation revealed the defendant beat, strangled, and stabbed his girlfriend 77 times with the box cutter in her car within two hours after she refused to buy him a firearm.
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“This was an especially brutal murder,” State Attorney R.J. Larizza said of the case. “I cannot fathom why the defendant committed such a vicious crime. He deserves to suffer greatly for his actions.”
The case was investigated by the Volusia Sheriff’s Office with assistance from the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office. Assistant State Attorney Heatha Trigones successfully tried the case for the State. The Honorable Dawn Nichols presided over the case and pronounced the sentence.
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