PHILADELPHIA (April 23, 2021) — District Attorney Larry Krasner on Friday announced Murder and related charges have been filed against Byron McDonald (DOB: 6/27/1993) for his role in the deaths of two women, a mother and daughter, found dead earlier this month. An Amber Alert was previously issued for a missing toddler, which led Philadelphia Police to the Aloft Hotel near the Philadelphia International Airport on April 12th where the child was safely recovered and McDonald was arrested.
The sequence of incidents for which McDonald is facing criminal prosecution are as follows:
- April 9th: McDonald is alleged to have fatally shot Tamara Aikens, 50, in front of her home on the 2500 block of North Bancroft Street at approximately 1 p.m. McDonald is alleged to have fired multiple gunshots through the passenger window while driving a red Chevy Malibu. Video evidence captures events before, during, and after the shooting. The Chevy Malibu is determined to be registered to Morgan Braxton, Aikens’ daughter.
- April 11th: A missing person’s report is filed with Philadelphia Police for Braxton, 25.
- April 12th: A relative contacts Philadelphia Police and reports fearing for Braxton’s safety due to a relationship with McDonald, with whom she has a 3-year-old child. After responding to a call that Braxton was not answering the door of her home on the 4200 block of North 8th Street, police enter the home and find Braxton with gunshots wounds to her head. She was pronounced that morning. An Amber Alert is issued for the child, who is not on location, with information about McDonald and the red Chevy Malibu registered to Braxton. Police receive information that the vehicle is parked at the Aloft Hotel near the Philadelphia International Airport. Braxton’s credit card had been used to rent a room, which was registered to McDonald’s mother. The SWAT Unit and members of the Homicide Fugitive Squad arrive and secure the scene. McDonald and his mother are taken into custody without incident, and the child is safely recovered. Other evidence is collected from the scene.
- April 14th: As police continue to investigate the murders of Braxton and Aikens, the District Attorney’s Office charges McDonald with Possession with Intent to Deliver, Conspiracy, and Endangering the Welfare of a Child. Braxton is in violation of parole from a 2015 conviction, for which a detainer was issued.
- April 22nd: After homicide detectives obtain ballistics evidence, cell phone records, additional video surveillance, and other information, the District Attorney’s Office approves Murder and related charges for the deaths of Braxton and Aikens.
District Attorney Krasner thanked Philadelphia Police homicide investigators, forensics technologists, and all involved in making sure McDonald will be held accountable for his many crimes.
“Thanks to diligent investigation by the Philadelphia Police, my office is prepared to make sure Byron McDonald is held accountable for murdering Morgan Braxton and Tamara Aikens,” District Attorney Krasner said. “Our hearts are broken for the toddler who lost his mother and grandmother to such unspeakable horror. What this child needs right now is beyond the scope of the criminal justice system to deliver in a courtroom. We as a city, as a community, owe a collective responsibility to the children most traumatized by violence. It is on all of us to make sure this child, and all children touched by violence are not defined by the worst day of their young lives.”
The Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office is the largest prosecutor’s office in Pennsylvania, and one of the largest in the nation. It serves the more than 1.5 million residents of the City and County of Philadelphia, employing 600 lawyers, detectives, and support staff. The District Attorney’s Office is responsible for the prosecution of approximately 40,000 criminal cases annually.