Brothers get long sentences in slaying after basketball game

February 9, 2020 GMT

WEST CHESTER, Pa. (AP) — Two brothers have been sentenced to long prison terms in a slaying near Philadelphia that authorities said followed a dispute over a pickup basketball game.

Prosecutors said brothers 24-year-old Tyrell Jacobs and 26-year-old Timothy Lee Jacobs got into a dispute with 26-year-old Eric Brown Jr. after a pickup basketball game at the West Chester University courts in April 2018. The victim was cornered in a room at the former Star Social Club and shot.

The Daily Local News of West Chester reports that Timothy Jacobs was convicted of third-degree murder, aggravated assault, criminal conspiracy and weapons offenses. He was sentenced Friday in Chester County Court to 31 to 62 years in prison.

Tyrell Jacobs, who was found guilty of first-degree murder, was sentenced to the mandatory term of life in prison without possibility of parole. Both declined the opportunity to address the court,

Common Pleas Judge Jeffrey Sommer said he was “saddened” by the case, telling the elder brother he saw somewhere in him “a very intelligent, motivated young man” and was sorry that he hadn’t had his potential channeled in a more positive direction.

Assistant Public Defender Stewart Paintin sought leniency for Timothy Jacobs, saying he was abandoned by his mother at a young age and had virtually no contact with his father, a drug dealer. “He was surrounded by drugs and violence, and he was the victim of violence,” he said, adding that his client was perhaps “too loyal” to his brother.

Defense attorney Thomas McCabe simply asked that his client’s sentences on assault, firearms and other counts not be made consecutive to his life term.

The victim’s mother spoke at length about the loss of her son, saying her “big and loving family” was having a hard time dealing with his loss.

”I am confused as to how something so simple” as a basketball court dispute “could lead to something so tragic,” she said.