MI v. Steven Washington: MSU Student Murder Trial

Posted at 11:51 AM, December 17, 2019 and last updated 8:54 PM, May 17, 2023


UPDATED 12/17/19: A jury found Steven Washington guilty of second-degree murder, carrying a concealed weapon and felony firearm possession on Tuesday, Dec. 17. Washington is set to be sentenced Jan. 29, 2020.


LANSING -A Mississippi man is facing life in prison for the 2018 off-campus shooting death of a Michigan State University student.

Steven Dornae Washington is accused of murdering 22-year-old Isai Berrones at an apartment complex about two miles north of the MSU campus. East Lansing police said Berrones was struck when shots were fired while people were fighting on Oct. 12. The victim was taken to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead.

Isai Berrones (Victim) Photo credit: Facebook

Shortly after the incident, an arrest warrant was issued for Washington. According to WSYM, he was arrested over a week later in Grove City, Ohio. Washington is facing multiple charges, including first-degree murder. Two other people face accessory charges, including Ivan Keener who was reportedly granted immunity to testify against Washington.

Investigators say the events leading up to the shooting are directly connected to Keener.

Angela Kelly (L) Ivan Keener (R)/East Lansing PD

During a court hearing, Keener testified on the day of the incident, two females began a heated argument with him on a friend’s porch, one of which was the victim’s girlfriend. Keener said he then called two of his females cousins to come fight the women, one of which was dating Washington. He claimed that during the fight, he saw Berrones holding a knife and at one point, Washington and Berrones were standing face to face right before a gunshot rang out. Everyone fled the scene, leaving a wounded Berrones on the ground.

Jury selection in the case of MI v. Washington begins Dec. 5, 2019.




  • Dec. 6:
  • Dec. 12
    • Co-defendant and girlfriend Angela Kelly invokes her 5th amendment
    • Ex-boyfriend denies being at the scene–chokes up talking about their relationship
    • Bullets recovered from Angela Kelly’s car were used in the same tool (gun) as the spent bullet at the crime scene
  • Dec. 16
    • Both parties agree to take 1st-degree murder charge off the table.
    • Prosecutor agrees that evidence of premeditation is lacking but is arguing that the state has met its burden for 2nd-degree murder
    • Prosecution’s closing argument
  • Dec. 17
    • Defense closing argument
    • Prosecution’s rebuttal
    • Jury is charged




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