Danny Battle was sentenced to life, suspending all but 40 years, after pleading guilty to first degree murder and to using a handgun in the commission of a crime of violence in the death of Irvin Lawson.
On January 25, 2008, shortly after midnight, Lawson and his girlfriend got out of a car and headed to the steps leading into an apartment building in the 900 block of Pennsylvania Avenue. As the couple walked toward the steps, they heard a gunshot, so they began to walk faster to the apartment steps.
Lawson’s girlfriend saw Battle standing on the steps and, with Lawson walking right behind her, exchanged a brief greeting with Battle. Battle said “What’s up?” to Lawson and Lawson said “What’s up?” in return. A couple of seconds passed before Battle pulled out a gun and pointed it at Lawson.
Battle fired his gun and struck Lawson in the back of the head, on his left chest, right back and a graze to the chin.
Lawson was taken to the hospital where he died and Battle was later identified by a witness 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.”