Aaron Bragg appears in Solano County Superior Court in Fairfield in this February 2012 file photo. (Brad Zweerink/Daily Republic file)

Aaron Bragg appears in Solano County Superior Court in Fairfield in this February 2012 file photo. (Brad Zweerink/Daily Republic file)


Gunman takes plea deal on eve of murder trial

By From page A4 | January 17, 2013

FAIRFIELD — A 19-year-old Suisun City man who was the gunman in a November 2011 fatal drive-by shooting took a plea deal on the eve of  his scheduled murder trial.

Aaron J. Bragg opened fire from a car traveling on Canvasback Drive in Suisun City, killing James Taylor, 20, and wounding 21-year-old Derico Hughes.

Bragg, who was 18 at the time of the shooting, pleaded no contest Wednesday to a voluntary manslaughter charge, agreeing to a 17-year prison sentence.

The shooting occurred after Bragg and Hughes had encountered each other briefly at a nearby gas station and exchanged “hard looks” and “mean mugs,” according to police testimony at a probable cause hearing last year.

Two acquaintances of Taylor and Hughes, who were accompanying them at the time of the shooting, were problematic witnesses for prosecutors. The pair of acquaintances fled the shooting scene before police arrived. One of them then returned to the car, got a pair of new shoes he bought at the mall from the trunk of the car and then ran off again. Another passenger took the witness stand at the probable cause hearing and refused to answer any questions.

Judge Robert Bowers ordered Bragg to return to court Feb. 27 for sentencing.

Reach Jess Sullivan at 427-6919 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/jsullivandr.

Jess Sullivan

Jess has covered the criminal justice system in Solano County for several years. He was an embedded reporter in Iraq in 2003.

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