Feb. 18, 2021 -- The man at the center of a 2018 murder and robbery in Mount Vernon that left one person dead and another with lasting injuries was sentenced in County Court today to 20 years to life in prison for the murder, with a concurrent sentence of 20 years plus five years of post-release supervision for attempted murder and robbery.

Tasjawn White pleaded guilty to Murder in the First Degree, a class A-1 violent felony, in the March 14, 2018 death of 24-year-old Donovan Brown. The murder followed an attempt by White and his associate Pierre Mensah to rob Brown. Brown was accompanied by two other men, one of whom was badly wounded in the incident.

White was arrested following the incident, which took place near the Mount Vernon West Metro North train station, and has been held at the Westchester County jail.

The defendant “took a good man off this earth” in a “senseless crime,” Donovan Brown’s mother stated at the sentencing.

The case was before Judge George E. Fufidio, AJSC, who today spoke of the “horrific nature” of the underlying facts of the case.

“Our thoughts are with Donovan Brown’s family and loved ones and also with Tasjawn White’s other victim, who was shot repeatedly and whose life was changed forever,” said Westchester County District Attorney Miriam E. Rocah. “I am committed to working to prevent crimes like this by getting illegal guns off the streets and out of our communities.”

White and Mensah were involved in a series of events on the night of March 13-14, including an initial robbery of an unnamed victim and – when that victim returned to the location with Donovan Brown and another friend to see if he could locate any of his stolen belongings – the subsequent attempted robbery which resulted in Brown’s shooting and death.

In addition to the First Degree Murder charge against White, both White and Mensah were charged with Murder in the Second Degree, Attempted Murder in the Second Degree, Assault in the First Degree, Attempted Assault in the First Degree and additional felonies.

White’s uncle, Phillip Spearman, also faced felony charges stemming from the incident, including Criminal Possession of a Weapon in the Third Degree, Hindering Prosecution in the Second Degree and Criminal Possession of Stolen Property in the Fourth Degree. Mensah and Spearman’s cases are still pending.

White, who was 19 at the time of the murder, entered a guilty plea on the charges in January, 2019. He later claimed that he was mentally ill, didn't understand what he was doing when he entered the plea and requested to reverse the guilty plea. Judge Fufidio rejected that request.

Mount Vernon Police Department detectives lead the investigation of the incident. The case was prosecuted by ADAs Perry Perrone and Michelle Lopez.


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