Triggerman gets 49 years in pizza deliveryman’s slaying in North Charleston

Stephawn Brown, 19, of North Charleston, pleaded guilty to murder and armed robbery and was sentenced to 49 years for the shooting death of 20-year-old Maraleius Birdsong, a student and Domino´s Pizza delivery man, in North Charleston on March 9, 2012, according to prosecutors. The trial was held in the Dorchester County Courthouse in St. George with sentencing on Friday February 15, 2013. (Wade Spees/ Buy this photo

The teenager who pleaded guilty to killing a pizza delivery man last year was sentenced inside a Dorchester County General Sessions courtroom in St. George this morning. Stephawn Brown, 19, of North Charleston, pleaded guilty to murder and armed robbery on Thursday, three days into his trial. Sentencing had been postponed until today.

Circuit Judge Ed Dickson sentenced Brown to 49 years for the murder and 30 for the armed robbery, with the sentences to be served concurrently. Brown is not eligible for parole.

Brown’s attorney, Mark Leiendecker, a public defender, asked the judge for 45 years, which was on the lower range of what the judge said he was considering.

Leiendecker told the judge Brown had a hard life and came from an abusive upbringing. Brown shot 20-year-old Maraleius Birdsong, a Domino’s Pizza delivery man, in the head outside the Appian Way Apartments in North Charleston on March 9, 2012, according to prosecutors.

His co-defendant, 18-year-old Jontae Davis, had pleaded guilty to voluntary manslaughter and armed robbery the day the trial started. Davis accepted a plea deal that sentenced him to prison for 20 years. In exchange, he testified against Brown on Tuesday.

Brown and Davis planned to rob a pizza deliveryman, according to Davis’ testimony. Brown ordered food from the Domino’s Pizza on Dorchester Road in the Coosaw Creek neighborhood. Birdsong happened to be the delivery driver assigned to the order.

While Birdsong walked to his car in the apartment complex parking lot, he was approached by Brown and Davis, according to prosecutors.

Brown pointed a 9 mm gun at Birdsong. That gun was later recovered by police with Brown’s DNA on it, prosecutors said. Brown demanded the food, which Birdsong handed over, Davis said when he testified earlier this week. Brown also asked for Birdsong’s cell phone, but he had left it in the car, 1st Circuit Assistant Solicitor Russell Hilton said in court. Davis told the jury earlier this week that Brown became upset when Birdsong didn’t turn over a cell phone. When Birdsong turned around to run away, Brown shot him in the back of the head and ran off with the food, some of which was later found in his apartment,

Read more in upcoming editions of The Post and Courier.

Reach Natalie Caula at 937-5594 or

Comments { } is pleased to offer readers the enhanced ability to comment on stories. We expect our readers to engage in lively, yet civil discourse. does not edit user submitted statements and we cannot promise that readers will not occasionally find offensive or inaccurate comments posted in the comments area. Responsibility for the statements posted lies with the person submitting the comment, not If you find a comment that is objectionable, please click "report abuse" and we will review it for possible removal. Please be reminded, however, that in accordance with our Terms of Use and federal law, we are under no obligation to remove any third party comments posted on our website. Read our full Terms and Conditions.