A 20-year-old Westchester man may spend the rest of his life in prison for what has been described as a “horrific” and “senseless” murder by the victim’s mother and the judge sentencing him.
Mount Vernon resident Tasjawn “Tay” White was sentenced in Westchester County Court on Thursday, Feb. 18 to a term of 20 years to life in prison for the murder and robbery in 2018.
In November 2019, White pleaded guilty to first-degree murder for his role in the March 14, 2018 death of 24-year-old Donovan Brown. The murder came following an attempted robbery by White and Pierre Mensah near the Mount Vernon West Metro-North station.
Westchester County District Attorney Miriam Rocah said that White and Mensah were involved in a series of events on the night of March 13 and 14, including an initial robbery of an unnamed victim.
When the unnamed victim returned to the area with Brown and a third party to see if they could locate any of the stolen belongings, White and Mensah attempted to rob them, leading to Brown’s shooting and death. One of the men with Brown at the time of the murder also suffered serious injuries.
White “took a good man off this earth” in a “senseless crime,” Brown’s mother said at his sentencing. Judge George Fufidio, who sentenced White, also spoke of the “horrific nature” of the underlying facts of the case.
In addition to the first-degree murder charge, White and Mensah were both charged with second-degree murder, attempted murder, assault, attempted assault, and several other felonies.
White, who was 19 at the time of the murder, has been detained at the Westchester County Jail since his arrest shortly after the altercation with Brown.
Following his guilty plea, he later claimed he was mentally ill, didn’t understand what he was doing when he entered the plea, and requested to reverse the guilty plea. That request was denied by Judge Fufidio.
Cases against Mensah and White’s uncle Phillip Spearman, who is facing charges stemming from the incident, are still pending.
“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,” Rocah said. “I am committed to working to prevent crimes like this by getting illegal guns off the streets and out of our communities.”
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