Taylor Brandenburg

A murder trial prosecutors called the ‘Chuckie Lee Show’ ends with guilty verdict for man who represented himself

Chuckie Lee had his say by representing himself during a week-long murder trial in Montgomery County Common Pleas Court. On Friday, members of the jury had theirs.

The jury of six men and six women determined Lee was guilty on all counts and specifications for the March 12, 2017 death of 20-year-old Taylor Brandenburg, who was babysitting her cousin’s children at a home on Huffman Avenue when she was struck by two bullets out of 37 fired during the incident.

The jury had the case for about two hours after closing arguments and instructions before announcing it reached a verdict.

“It’s gratifying, but it’s bittersweet,” Montgomery County assistant prosecutor John Amos said while speaking for the family, which declined comment.

“The family has been through so much. … I think these verdicts give them a little bit of closure and justice for Taylor and for themselves, but this is something that’s going to haunt them for the rest of their lives. And her memory, hopefully, will continue on because it sounds like she was just a phenomenal person.”

Lee, 40, admitted to firing a Glock with a 50-round drum when he and a co-defendant saw Brandenburg’s first cousin, Ricky Mayes Jr., who he said provoked him into a bar fight at The Glass Hat.

“This was about justice for Taylor Brandenburg — for the gunning down of an absolutely innocent young lady who had her whole life in front of her — for no reason whatsoever,” Amos said. “And gunned down by a guy, in all respects, has shown no remorse for what he did. He tried at times to justify what he did. And still to this day, in this trial, has tried to legitimize and justify his actions.”

Amos said Lee could face a sentence of 70 years to life, depending on whether Judge Gregory Singer runs the counts concurrently when Lee is sentenced Sept. 4.

Co-defendants Evans Cassell and Kara Parisi-King are already serving sentences of 18 years to life and 15 years to life, respectively.

During closing arguments, Amos asked the jury to hold Lee accountable for all the counts in the trial Lee sought.

“All the elements have been met and it’s going to be time to end the Chuckie Lee show,” Amos said. “He got on the stand (Thursday) and pretended through his crocodile tears that he had regret.”

Amos said evidence was not introduced that showed all 37 shell casings were from one gun despite Lee and Cassell pointing weapons. Lee repeatedly said how mad he was at Mayes and how he wanted to hurt him.

“I think he kind of feels like he’s left some unfinished business, and given the chance, I think he would finish it. He’s that type of violent guy,” Amos said. “He is, I think in all respects, a sociopath that has demonstrated he should not ever be allowed to be out in society again. He is a dangerous, dangerous man.”

The jury found Lee guilty on all nine counts, including murder, felonious assault and other gun charges. Singer also found Lee guilty on two charges of having weapons under disability, a similar count to a 2014 federal case.

During his closing arguments, Lee said, “I’m not a bad person, I’ve done some bad things.”

According to court records, Lee had 20 probation violations between his two shortened federal prison sentences. Lee served less than the 33-month sentence handed down in November 2014 for being a felon in possession of a firearm and was released June 15, 2016. In 2006, Lee was was sentenced to 62 months for the same crime, and he did not serve that full term.

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