Men charged in connection to Marley Lion killing sentenced

Published: Nov. 20, 2013 at 7:25 PM EST|Updated: Nov. 21, 2013 at 3:31 AM EST
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Julius Brown, George Brown and Bryan Rivers.
Julius Brown, George Brown and Bryan Rivers.
Marley Lion
Marley Lion
Ryan Deleston
Ryan Deleston

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Two of the three co-defendants in the Marley Lion murder trial were sentenced to 28 years in prison Wednesday.

Julius Brown and Bryan Rivers were both sentenced to 28 years in prison after pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter and attempted armed robbery charges in exchange for their testimony against Ryan Deleston. Deleston is serving life in prison without the possibility of parole for the shooting death of Lion.

The two charges carried up to 50 years in prison combined.

The judge presiding over Wednesday's sentencing said that although she appreciated the cooperation of Brown and Rivers, she wished it had come sooner.

"I see nothing to indicate to me that kind of behavior is going to change, and, of course, it culminated in this tragic event," explains Ninth Circuit Judge Stephanie McDonald.

A third co-defendant, George Brown, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to accessory after the fact, and possession of a weapon with an obliterated serial number. He was sentenced to 12 years in prison.

Prosecutors say Brown provided the weapon Ryan Deleston used to shoot Marley Lion.

According to testimony during the trial, Rivers admitted he was part of the plan to rob the teen in June of last year.

However, Rivers said he did not want Lion to be shot.

Solicitor Scarlett Wilson says Lion's family has been involved throughout the entire process, and they understand the practicality of the justice system.

Elizabeth Paige, Lion's mother, addressed the court Wednesday to ask for the harshest punishment possible for all three defendants.

"These individuals made their choices out of their own free will. They chose to kill my son," Paige said. "The impact will not end with this trial."

Wilson says a plea agreement was not made with George Brown because he habitually lied to the prosecution during the case.

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