SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — San Francisco mayor London Breed’s incarcerated brother may face a reduction of his 44-year sentence for manslaughter after a judge ruled Monday that he could be re-sentenced under new criminal laws.
The judge’s decision that Napoleon Brown, Breed’s older brother, could face a sentence followed recent changes to California’s definition of murder, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.
Brown has served more than half of a 44-year prison sentence for a 2000 conviction for armed robbery, carjacking and involuntary manslaughter. He is due back in court on April 3.
In 2000, Brown and another man robbed a San Francisco restaurant and fled across the Golden Gate Bridge. His girlfriend at the time, who was driving the getaway car, was pushed or fell out of the vehicle – and was fatally hit by a drunk driver.
Brown’s attorney, Marc Zilversmit, has argued for a shorter prison sentence based on the 2018 revision of California’s definition of murder. The new law says prosecutors can only charge a suspect with murder if he or she killed someone, requested murder or acted with “reckless indifference to human life” when someone was killed.
The district attorney’s office opposed Brown’s conviction, arguing that he was ineligible for a conviction because he was the “real killer.” Brown’s legal team argued that the killer was the drunk driver.
The case made headlines again last year after San Francisco District Attorney Brooke Jenkins asked the Attorney General’s office to hear the case over fears of a conflict of interest over Breed appointing Jenkins to replace ousted District Attorney Chesa Boudin . The attorney general declined, saying the agency could just make sure Jenkins didn’t touch the case.
In 2018, Breed was fined $2,500 for using official stationery to write to Governor Jerry Brown requesting that her brother’s sentence be commuted.