McDonald’s Bag Leads Police to Suspected Killer in Germantown Murder

After man was found dead in January, police found fast-food bag on floor nearby


Quinnton Eric Brown

Via Montgomery County police

A McDonald’s bag and a regretful social media post helped lead police four months later to the suspected killer in a Germantown homicide that occurred in January.

On Jan. 3, Montgomery County police found 30-year-old Maurice Cortez Mercer dead in his living room on Cross Ridge Way in Germantown. He had been shot multiple times.

Near his feet, police officers found a McDonald’s brown paper bag that they collected for evidence, according to court documents. The bag had two large holes in the bottom, and there were french fries scattered on the floor around the bag.

When investigating the death, detectives spoke to Mercer’s fiancée, the mother of his two children, court documents state. She told them a man she didn’t know had come by a few days before Mercer’s killing, and Mercer had confronted him outside the house.

The fiancée reported Mercer was “noticeably concerned and fearful after the man’s visit,” police recalled in court documents. He had told her the man was recently released from prison.

His fiancée also mentioned that “there was no reason” for the McDonald’s bag to be on the floor, police wrote.

In February, police spoke to a man who claimed to have information about Mercer’s death. Police kept him anonymous in court records, noting he feared reprisal.

The man told police a man named Quinnton, who was recently released from prison, had been in a dispute with Mercer. According to court records, he knew Quinnton’s girlfriend and noticed that the girlfriend posted daily photos of herself with Quinnton on social media for “at least three weeks prior to the murder.”

After Mercer was killed, the romantic tone changed: “Well, I guess it’s just me from here on out,” the woman allegedly posted.

Looking through law enforcement databases, police found that a man named Quinnton Eric Brown, a 30-year-old living in Columbia, had been released from prison in November. According to online court records, Brown had been sentenced in 2012 in connection with an armed kidnapping in Montgomery County. The anonymous witness identified Brown as the Quinnton he knew from social media.

The witness also said some of Mercer’s friends believed the same man was responsible for his killing and were “actively looking” for Brown, according to court documents.

By late March, police received the results on forensic testing of the McDonald’s bag, which revealed trace evidence of fired ammunition inside the bag, according to the documents. Later, fingerprints were recovered from the bag—and police matched Brown’s print to one found on the bottom of the bag.

Brown was still on probation from his kidnapping charge, and police contacted his probation officer.

County police arrested Brown on Tuesday and charged him with first-degree murder. He is being held without bail.

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