Family outraged after son's killer gets probation

WALLER COUNTY, Texas -- A family is outraged after their son's killer is set to get a second chance at life.

Brayon Molden was stabbed to death at an apartment complex near the campus of Prairie View A&M in October of 2014.

"It's a very pointless death because he was defending someone else," said his father Henry Molden.

Brayon was a junior with aspirations of becoming a teacher and coach. The man who killed him was Christopher Ellison, his former friend.

"They're actually talking it out and Ellison's girlfriend comes down and attacks my son. He hits him...blindsides him," Henry Molden said. "And he turns and when he turned, Ellison stabbed him while he wasn't looking."

Brayon was 23 years old. He had just become a father seven weeks earlier. His son is now 2 years old.

"I actually dread the day we're going to have to have that talk with him about what happened to his father and why he doesn't have a father," Henry Molden said.

Ellison went on the run after killing Molden but turned himself in two days later. He was in Waller County jail while the case played out because he couldn't make bond. Ellison pleaded guilty to manslaughter, but Wednesday a judge surprised the entire courtroom when he opted to sentence him to 10 years probation and zero prison time.

"The system isn't perfect," Henry Molden said. "So sometimes it is the system that's broken, and it definitely failed my son today. And it failed the community, because at the end of the day he's going back to someone's community. He's going to be a risk to other people."

W.K. Diepraam is the First Assistant District Attorney in Waller County. He says part of the judge's explanation was based on the fillet knife used to kill Brayon.

"The judge finds the knife was not a deadly weapon," Diepraam said. "That's a quirk in Texas law. Judges can do that, and he did it so he could give the defendant probation."

The Moldens say they want justice for their son in whatever form it comes. Diepraam says that won't come through civil action because Ellison was unemployed and not supporting his children at the time of the stabbing, so they're not likely to get anything from him. He says their best bet is to take their fight to Austin.

"Really all they can do is channel their emotions and anger with the legislature and see if the legislature can change the law," Diepraam added. "That was done earlier when a judge gave a person who was convicted of murder probation and it can be done again."

Eyewitness News reached out to Ellison's attorney for comment. He has not yet responded.
Copyright © 2022 KTRK-TV. All Rights Reserved.