Wade Joshua Braithwaite

Updated 5/16/2017

Leonardtown, MD-  A Leonardtown man already serving prison time in connection with the murder of Cody Lacey, 21, of Mechanicsville, in July of 2015 is facing a list of new charges stemming from a shooting a month before Lacey’s murder.

According to a grand jury indictment, Wade Joshua Braithwaite, 23, is charged with attempted first-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, robbery, armed robbery and use of a firearm in commission of a felony. The indictment states Braithwaite shot the victim on June 6, 2015.

Braithwaite is currently serving 15 years in prison for possession of a firearm with a felony conviction in connection with the murder of Lacey. Lacey was shot and killed at a party in Mechanicsville. Braithwaite was initially charged with being an accessory after the fact to first-degree murder but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge to avoid a trial.

The gunman, Alan Rangel, was found guilty of second-degree murder in January of 2016 for Lacey’s death. In April of 2016, Judge David Densford sentenced Rangel to 90 years in prison. In addition to the second-degree murder charge, seven additional charges were factored into the sentencing.

Braitwaite is currently serving his 15 years at the Patuxent Institute in Jessup, MD.

Contact Joy Shrum at j.shrum@thebaynet.com

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Leonardtown, MD — A man charged with being an accessory after the fact to first-degree murder in a shooting death in Mechanicsville has pled guilty to a lesser charge. Wade Joshua Braithwaite, 22 of Leonardtown entered the guilty plea Dec. 14 in St., Mary’s County Circuit Court before Judge David Densford. Braithwaite pled guilty to possession of firearms with a felony conviction. His plea averted a three-day trial scheduled to begin the next day.

Braithwaite was arrested July 25 of this year in connection with the shooting death of Cody Lacey, 21 of Mechanicsville at a party. Alan Rangel, 21, has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with Lacey’s death. Police allege that Rangel pulled the trigger on the gun that was fired into a crowd at the party, killing Lacey.

Braithwaite was arrested later in the day July 25 along with co-defendant Demetrius Jose Burks-Jeffrey, 22, of Chaptico. The two were arrested after execution of a search and seizure warrant at a residence in Lexington Park where a weapon was recovered.

Rangel was arrested in Jessup two days after the shooting. Also arrested with him and charged with being an accessory after the fact to first-degree murder was Amanda Hartmann, 24 of Waldorf. She is scheduled to stand trial Jan. 21. The trial for Burks-Jeffrey is scheduled for Jan. 21.

Trial for Rangel was originally scheduled to begin Dec. 1 but has been rescheduled for Jan. 28, 2016.

A pre-sentence investigation was ordered for Braithwaite. A call to State’s Attorney Richard Fritz to discuss why the state agreed to accept the plea had not been returned as this story was being published.

Rangel has been described by his mother and sister as being “homeless” and “unemployed.” Charging documents filed by St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Department Detective Cpl. Melissa Hulse at the time of Rangel’s return to St. Mary’s County provide information about what is alleged to have happened at the party.

The charges indicate that Rangel admitted to one witness that “he fired off some shots in the air and some shots that went somewhere else at the residence.” The charges allege that Rangel shot into a crowd striking Lacey.

According to the police report, heroic efforts to revive Lacey were made by responding police officers, to no avail. He died at the scene.

The charging documents also quote a witness who allegedly fled the scene with Rangel who said that the accused “admitted to discharging the firearm while at the residence.” A search and seizure warrant issued for a residence in Lexington Park at which Braithwaite and Burks-Jeffrey were arrested may have uncovered the weapon used in the shooting.

The charging documents filed in the case against Hartmann allege that she “transported the suspect in a 1993 Toyota Camry. Images of the vehicle were captured in various locations throughout Maryland. At no time did the defendant (Hartmann) attempt to contact law enforcement officers to provide the whereabouts of the suspect.”