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No Sentence Reduction For Cockeysville Man Who Murdered His Entire Family At Age 15

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Derek Valcourt began working at WJZ in September 2002. His first major...
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TOWSON, Md. (WJZ)–The young man who murdered his parents and two younger brothers at their Cockeysville home when he was 15 appeared in a Baltimore County courtroom Friday, asking for a reduced sentence.

Derek Valcourt was in the courtroom and has more on the plea for mercy and the judge’s response.

Attorneys for the now 21-year-old were trying to argue that by slightly altering his sentence and allowing him to take part in a youth offender program, Nicholas Browning might have a shot of getting paroled someday.

But the judge wasn’t having it.

Browning is now serving two consecutive life sentences after confessing to the February 2008 murders of his parents, John and Tamara, and his brothers, 14-year-old Gregory and 11-year-old Benjamin, as the four slept in their Cockeysville beds.

Police:  “Do you remember where you shot your dad on his body?”

Browning: “In the head.”

Police: “How about your mom?”

Browning: “In the head.”

Police: “Your brothers too then?”

Browning: “The head.”

Police: “Why did you do that?”

Browning: “I figured it would be quicker.”

In court Friday, Browning’s attorneys asked a judge to consider a reduced sentence, which would allow him to qualify for special programs at the Patuxent Institution and in turn perhaps one day even be eligible for parole.

That’s an argument prosecutors rebutted.

“This crime was so heinous that Nicholas Browning should never get out of jail,” said Robin Coffin, prosecutor.

Before the judge made his decision, Browning spoke briefly in court, saying “words can’t adequately describe what I did.”

He also said he would give his own life if he could just take it all back.

“For a 15-year-old boy to do something like that, there is obviously something wrong in the family,” said Michael Gaffney, Browning’s pen pal.

Gaffney became Browning’s pen pal and now visits him monthly in prison.

He was one of Browning’s few supporters inside the courtroom.

“I was really hoping that the court would consider all of the facts surrounding the case,” Gaffney said.

But the judge denied Browning’s request, sending him back to prison for life.

This was Browning’s last shot at getting a reduced sentence.

Prosecutors say Browning killed his parents because he didn’t want anyone telling him what to do and that he killed his brothers so he wouldn’t have to share an inheritance.

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