Teen Sentenced In WOC Shooting Incident

SNOW HILL – A Salisbury man charged with attempted first-degree murder following a shooting incident in the parking lot of a West Ocean City restaurant last November pleaded guilty this week to first-degree assault and was sentenced to 10 years in jail with five years suspended.

James Labronk Brumskin, 17, of Salisbury, appeared in Worcester County Circuit Court last Thursday to face attempted first-degree murder charges and other felonies after he was arrested last November when police connected him to a shooting incident on the parking lot of Salvatore’s restaurant in West Ocean City. On Nov. 10 last year, both Brumskin and his eventual victim, Eric Jamar Purnell, 19, of Berlin, were attending the same party at Salvatore’s on the corner of Routes 50 and 611 when the restaurant was shut down due to a minor altercation inside.

The minor altercation escalated into a major one outside as the guests were leaving when Brumskin allegedly fired three shots from a small caliber handgun at Purnell as he walked across the parking lot. One of the bullets struck Purnell in the buttocks and became lodged in his groin area. The victim was taken first to Atlantic General Hospital before being transported to Peninsula Regional Medical Center in Salisbury for surgery.

The investigation immediately pointed to Brumskin as the shooter in the incident and he was taken into custody without incident at his Salisbury residence three days later. During initial interviews following his arrest, Brumskin admitted being involved in the shooting, according to police reports.

Last Thursday in Circuit Court, Brumskin, through his attorney, at first pleaded guilty to first-degree assault and was found guilty, but the court struck the finding of guilt and ordered the case be reset in a different courtroom. Once the trial was moved, Brumskin entered an Alford plea to first-degree assault and was found guilty. In an Alford plea, a defendant does not admit guilt, but concedes the state has enough evidence to prosecute the case.

Brumskin’s Alford plea was then accepted and he was found guilty and sentenced to 10 years in jail. All but five years of the sentence were suspended and upon release, Brumskin was placed on supervised probation for two-and-a-half years. Brumskin was also ordered to pay $4,450 in restitution to the victim during the first 18 months of his sentence to pay for medical expenses incurred by Purnell.