Lawyer: Slain ice cream driver was stalking shooting suspect

FREDERICK, Md. (AP) -- The lawyer for a man charged with fatally shooting an ice cream truck driver as children lined up outside says his client had been stalked for months by the man he's accused of killing.

Defense attorney Carl Somerlock said Tuesday that Brandon Brown had been trying to find and kill Larnell Lyles over a $20 debt. The lawyer's version of events was first reported by The Frederick News-Post.

Somerlock says Lyles was surprised Saturday when he went to buy ice cream for some children and saw Brown in the truck. The lawyer won't say whether Lyles shot Brown.

Police say they are investigating a motive. A man who was helping Brown sell ice cream has told police there was no argument before Lyles pointed a revolver and fired.

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The judge then ordered Larnell T. Lyles, 27, held without bail despite his lawyer's insistence that there is more to the story than authorities allege.

"It would be pretty unbelievable that someone, without any provocation, would just shoot an ice cream man," defense attorney Carl D. Somerlock said.

He said shooting victim Brandon Brown, 22, and a helper who witnessed the incident Saturday weren't professional ice cream men but were engaged in another occupation. He declined to elaborate after the hearing.

The helper, Brandon McIntosh, told police Brown had borrowed the Big Daddy's ice cream truck from a friend who occasionally let him use it in return for half the profits, according to court records released Monday.

McIntosh told police he was helping Brown sell ice cream at the Lucas Village subsidized housing complex Saturday afternoon when a man he later identified as Lyles approached the van. McIntosh said Lyles asked about types of ice cream, and McIntosh told him they had several kinds.

McIntosh said Brown then stepped outside to smoke and came face to face with Lyles. McIntosh said Lyles told several children to "watch it," pulled a revolver from his waistband and shot Brown three times in the chest.

At Monday's hearing, Lyles appeared on closed-circuit video from the Frederick County jail. He shook his head as Assistant State's Attorney Brett J. Jackson read the charges, which she said were based on multiple witness accounts. Lyles tried to interject at one point, but District Judge Earl Bartgis interrupted and advised him to let his lawyer speak for him.

The prosecutor said the shooting traumatized the children who saw it.

"The only appropriate bond for this defendant is a no-bond status," Jackson said.

She said surveillance video showed a man later identified as Lyles approaching the van and reaching into his waistband. She said he is seen standing at the side of the ice cream truck for several seconds and then backing away as children run from the area. Then Lyles runs out of view.

Both Brown and Lyles had previous assault convictions. Lyles also has a 2009 conviction for marijuana possession.

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