Man pleads guilty to 2nd-degree murder in 2016 shooting death of UNF employee

Dakarai Maxwell (Jacksonville Sheriff's Office)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A man who investigators said was arrested in the deadly shooting of a University of North Florida employee has pleaded guilty to a related charge, Duval County court records show.

According to court records, Dakarai Maxwell pleaded guilty Oct. 28 to second-degree murder in the 2016 shooting death of UNF information technology engineer Joe Brenton.

Maxwell has a sentencing hearing Dec. 12, but he won’t be sentenced at that time.

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office responded to the homicide call on Sept. 21, 2016, where Brenton was found dead of several gunshot wounds. Investigators determined that through jail calls, Jecorian McCray, who was behind bars, ordered his brother, Maxwell, to kill Brenton.

Joe Brenton

According to investigators, the order against Brenton was due to Brenton’s scheduled testimony against McCray and Maxwell in a related burglary case in which the brothers were suspected of breaking into Brenton’s home and were caught on surveillance cameras.

McCray was found guilty of first-degree murder for orchestrating the jailhouse, court records show. He is now serving his life without parole sentence.

Jecorian McCray (Florida Department of Corrections)