FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) – A 49-year-old ex-con who was involved in multiple shootings in his life was sentenced to 40 years in prison for fatally shooting a friend outside a Fort Worth apartment complex last year.
Jurors deliberated about three hours on Friday before finding Mark Branigan guilty of murder in the death of 23-year-old Danny Lafedge. On Friday afternoon, the jury deliberated just 30 minutes before sentencing him to the 40-year term.
During the trial in state district Judge Ruben Gonzalez’s court, prosecutors Kim D’Avignon and Lucas Allan presented evidence that Branigan and Lafedge had been friends, but that Branigan felt as though Lafedge had dis- respected him. On the afternoon of August 2, 2012, Branigan gunned down Lafedge outside the Hills Apartment Complex in the 3200 block of Bridge Hill Drive, where both men were living at the time.
Branigan fired at least six shots from a 9mm handgun, striking Lafedge in the chest, abdomen, foot and hand. Lafedge was pronounced dead at an area hospital.
After the shooting, Branigan got rid of the murder weapon, changed his clothes and went to hang out at a separate apartment complex to give himself an alibi.
Branigan testified that Mark Branigan killed Lafedge in self-defense, but the jury rejected that argument.
During the trial, the jury also heard about Branigan’s long criminal history, including that he had been convicted out of state for armed robbery and shooting at a police officer.
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