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Ambush killer pleads guilty to 2008 murder

Posted at 5:19 PM, Jun 19, 2018

A man who ambushed his target in a 2008 killing in West Baltimore pleaded guilty to murder, Baltimore Assistant State's Attorney David Owens said.

Danny Battle pleaded guilty to first degree murder and using a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence in the death of Irvin Lawson. Battle was sentenced to life, suspending all but 40 years.

Lawson was killed shortly after midnight on January 25, 2008. On the night of his death, Lawson and his girlfriend left the car they were traveling in and headed to the steps of an apartment building in the 900 block of Pennsylvania Avenue where Battle was standing. The couple heard gunshots as they walked and accelerated their pace towards the building.

When they got to the steps, after exchanging greetings, Battle paused a few seconds, pulled out a gun and began shooting Lawson. 

Lawson was struck in the head, left chest, right back, and a graze to his chin. He died at a hospital shortly thereafter. Witnesses later identified Battle as the shooter. 

“This was a violent and brazen attack. I’m thankful for the witness who made this conviction—and subsequently justice for Mr. Lawson’s family—possible," said State’s Attorney Marilyn Mosby. “The defendant will spend the prime of his life behind bars as a result of his disregard for a valuable human life.”