Guilty Verdict In Slaying Of Michigan State University Student

Isai Berrones was killed while trying to break up a fight

WWJ News
December 18, 2019 - 11:17 am
Steven Washington

Steven Washington (Booking Photo)

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EAST LANSING (WWJ/AP) - A jury has convicted a Mississippi man in the murder of a Michigan State University student outside an off-campus student apartment building.

Isai Berrones of Alamo, Texas, was fatally shot while trying to break up a fight between women early in the morning of Oct. 12, 2018, in East Lansing.

According to East Landing police, officers responded to multiple 911 calls about people fighting in the 2500 block of Abbot Rd., about two miles north of campus; and Berrones, 22, was found with a bullet wound. He was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. 

Steven Washington, the 30-year-old boyfriend of one of the women in the fight, was identified by investigators as a suspect. 

Police, with the help of the US Marshals Service, used information gathered through search warrants on cell phone towers and cell phone databases and through social media to pin down his location, and Washington was located and taken into custody a little over a week later in Grove City, Ohio. 

While there were several witnesses, only one of them —  Ivan Keener, who admits he inititialted the brawl — identified Washington as the shooter. While prosecutors argued that Washington was the gunman, the defense countered that Keener, who was granted immunity for his testimony, lied on the stand and was actually the one who pulled the trigger. 

On Monday, prosecutors dropped the first-degree murder charge against Washington. He was convicted on a charge of second degree murder, as well as weapons charges. 

Berrones was a senior at MSU majoring in food science.