District man sentenced for killing ex-girlfriend's brother

Local,DC,Crime,Naomi Jagoda

A District man convicted of the 2011 slaying of his ex-girlfriend's brother has been sentenced to nearly 40 years in prison, officials said.

Brandon Andrews, 31, was sentenced to 39 1/2 years in prison in D.C. Superior Court. He was found guilty in February of second-degree murder for fatally shooting 43-year-old Leonard Bigelow, and he was also convicted of shooting at Bigelow's father and threatening his ex-girlfriend, prosecutors said.

Andrews and Bigelow's sister dated for about 10 months. On Aug. 22, 2011, the couple got into an argument while driving. The girlfriend tried to pull over to get police assistance, but Andrews threatened to kill her if she did, according to officials and court papers.

Bigelow's sister decided to pull over anyway, and police convinced Andrews to get out of the vehicle. Because of the threatening remark, Bigelow's sister ended her relationship with Andrews, a court document stated.

After the breakup, Andrews repeatedly called and texted his ex-girlfriend, but she refused to respond. Many of the messages contained profanity and threats. He also showed up at the Bigelow family home on multiple occasions, even though his ex-girlfriend did not want to see him.

On Aug. 26, Andrews' ex-girlfriend dropped off his clothes on a street corner near the homeless shelter where he was living. Later that day, Andrews sent text messages stating that the clothes were taken by others before he could retrieve them. He also threatened her, prosecutors said.

That evening, Andrews called his ex-girlfriend's home. Bigelow picked up and said his sister did not want to see Andrews, who replied that he was coming to the family's Northeast D.C. home.

At about 10:45 p.m. that night, Andrews walked to the house. Bigelow and his father were on the front porch, and without saying anything, Andrews fired two shots at the men. Bigelow was struck in the chest by a bullet and died.

Andrews left the scene after the shooting but was arrested the next day. Police found the pistol used in the shooting in Andrews' pocket, prosecutors said.

During his trial earlier this year, Andrews claimed he only went to the house to discuss the loss of his clothing. He also claimed the shooting was in self-defense because Bigelow charged at him with a knife, a court document stated. But prosecutors disputed that Bigelow had a weapon and approached Andrews.

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