Sacramento jurors on Tuesday convicted Keyon Brown for his role in the September 2015 shooting death of a young El Dorado Hills woman at a Carmichael apartment party, one day after another jury found his brother, Kenyatta Brown, guilty of second-degree murder in the woman’s death.
Joslynn Sovenski was killed by a single shot to the chest from a semi-automatic assault-style Tec-22 handgun in one of the apartment’s bedrooms. Sovenski, who had graduated earlier that year from Ponderosa High School and was considering enlisting in the Air Force, was 18.
Jurors Tuesday afternoon returned guilty verdicts on both counts against Keyon Brown in their second day of deliberation: possession of an illegal weapon and being an accessory after the fact for lying to authorities to cover for his brother after Sovenski was killed.
The scene inside Sacramento Superior Court Judge Curtis Fiorini’s fourth-floor courtroom mirrored Monday’s emotionally charged verdict against Kenyatta Brown, with members of Sovenski’s and Brown’s families sobbing on both sides of the aisle.
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An attorney for Brown asked that he remain free on bail – as he had for nearly a year – pending his Oct. 6 sentencing date. But Sacramento County Deputy District Attorney Casey Newton called for Brown to be taken into custody.
Newton said Brown had been arrested on another gun charge while awaiting trial for what he called Brown’s “very central role” in Sovenski’s death. Fiorini agreed and Brown was handcuffed by deputies for the trip to Sacramento County Main Jail.
“We’re grateful that there’s finally justice for Joslynn and thankful the jury saw the truth,” Sovenski’s aunt, Maria Ledesma, said following the verdict. “Her parents have gone through so much. She and her brother are a year apart. They were best friends. They took that away.”
Brown’s family declined to comment Tuesday.
Sacramento County prosecutors argued that Keyon Brown sold guns, brought the gun to the party and lied to authorities after Kenyatta fired the fatal shot.
Attorneys for the brothers contended the deadly wound was self-inflicted, that Keyon tried to cover for his brother because he was unsure of what happened in the bedroom, and that ownership of the gun remained an open question.