A man was ordered on Thursday to serve 45 years in prison for shooting his once close friend, Chris Clanton, an actor who appeared on the HBO crime drama series “The Wire,” in the ear in Baltimore.
Before he handed down the sentence for first-degree assault, use of a firearm during the commission of a crime of violence, reckless endangerment and related crimes, Baltimore Circuit Judge Charles M. Blomquist said one of his responsibilities is to protect the public.
Domonic White, he said, has a propensity for picking up handguns.
White, the judge said, had taken positive steps in his life. But Blomquist stated that he was grappling to understand the shooting and lamented that White, 39, of Loch Raven, appeared to be cycling through the criminal justice system and living life “on an installment plan.”
“It gives me a great deal of pause,” Blomquist said. “Baltimore is plagued by violence.”
White was found guilty of the April 29, 2021 shooting of Clanton on Eierman Avenue near Belair Road in Northeast Baltimore in the presence of the actor’s 5-year-old son.
In 2002, Clanton played Savino Bratton, an enforcer for the drug kingpin Avon Barksdale, on season one of “The Wire.” Bratton later worked for Barksdale’s successor, Marlo Stanfield, in season five.
Clanton portrayed a police officer, Brian Hairston, in 2022 in the HBO miniseries “We Own This City,” which is about the Baltimore Police Department’s Gun Trace Task Force. The show is based on the book of the same name — written by Justin Fenton, an investigative reporter at The Baltimore Banner — about the corrupt plainclothes unit.
Assistant State’s Attorney Patrick Gracey pushed for a sentence of 64 years in prison, describing the crime as egregious.
White, he said, has demonstrated that he is a violent person who cannot put down guns and abide by the laws of Maryland.
“He has shown no remorse in this matter,” Gracey said. “There’s nothing more callous than what the defendant did in this case,” he later added.
Gracey read a victim impact statement on behalf of Clanton, in which he noted that his young son has to live with witnessing the shooting and the aftermath of the crime.
Meanwhile, Roland Brown, White’s attorney, asked for a sentence of 20 years in prison, with all but 10 years suspended, disputing the notion that his client is a person who has been committing violent crimes for decades.
Brown described his client as a loving father of five who worked for Baltimore Gas and Electric Company. White, he said, has strong ties to the community.
“I disagree with the state about the remorse,” Brown said.
On the advice of counsel, White did not make a statement.
His mother, though, pleaded for leniency. She broke down in the gallery of the courtroom after the judge announced the sentence, repeating, “Oh, Jesus” over and over again.