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Two men sentenced in Fresno barber’s killing. With plea deal, could eventually be paroled

·1 min read
FRESNO POLICE DEPARTMENT

Two Fresno gang members were sentenced Tuesday to 23-years-to-life in prison for the 2017 killing of 32-year-old Brajoni Freeman.

Marquise Graves, 29, and Jahleel McGruder, 32, struck a deal with prosecutors in June to drop the first degree murder and robbery charge in exchange for the defendants pleading no contest to voluntary manslaughter.

Fresno County Superior Court Judge Samuel Dalesandro handled the sentencing Tuesday. Had the defendants not agreed to a plea deal, both men would have faced prison without the possibility of parole.

Under the current sentence, they could be released on parole by the time they are middle-aged men.

Police believe Freeman was gunned down inside his apartment in the 4400 block of East Sierra Madre on July 19, 2017. Video surveillance cameras captured the defendants walking toward his apartment about half a block from Fresno State.

A few minutes later, the defendants, who police say are members of the Northside Pleasant Street gang, can be seen leaving the apartment.

Police later revealed Freeman also sold drugs on the side.

McGruder’s defense attorney David Mugridge has said previously that the video doesn’t show who killed Freeman, a well-known resident of the neighborhood who would cut hair in his apartment.

Freeman’s body was found by his girlfriend and one of his relatives inside his apartment. He died of a single gunshot wound.