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Brown v. State

Alabama Court of Criminal Appeals

October 3, 2014

Broderick Sylvester Brown
v.
State of Alabama

Page 103

Appeal from Mobile Circuit Court. (CC-12-3874).

For Appellant: Christine C. Hernandez, Mobile.

For Appellee: Luther Strange, atty. gen., and Ferris Stephens, asst. atty. gen.

OPINION

Page 104

WELCH, Judge.

Broderick Sylvester Brown was indicted on two counts of felony murder. The indictment alleged tat, during the course of a second-degree burglary and a robbery, he or his accomplice shot and killed Sam Richardson. See § 13A-6-2(a)(3), Ala. Code 1975. The jury found Brown guilty of both counts. The trial court sentenced Brown to 32 years' imprisonment on each count, the sentences to be served concurrently. The trial court also ordered Brown to pay court costs and a $50 assessment to the Alabama Crime Victims Compensation Fund.

FACTS

On November 22, 2011, at about 3:45 p.m., Benjamin Melton walked toward Sam Richardson's barbershop in Prichard. He looked in the front window and saw a young man, later identified as Andrew Amison, inside Richardson's shop " rambling" through and " picking up things." (R. 204.) As Melton approached the door, he saw Amison step over something and then squeeze his way out of the door. Amison walked out of the shop and took a few steps as Melton began to walk in. Melton saw Richardson's body behind and up against the door; his head lay in a puddle of blood. Melton looked at Amison, and Amison ran down the street and around the corner. Melton then ran outside in an attempt to locate Amison, and he telephoned emergency 911. He encountered Houston Langham, who was in a truck stopped at a traffic light, and he

Page 105

asked Langham which way Amison had run. Langham told Melton that he had seen two young men, whom he later identified as Amison and Brown, jumping over a fence behind the barber shop. Langham began to follow the men, and Melton returned to the shop. Richardson was dead.

Langham identified Brown as one of the two young men he followed that day. He followed them in his truck, watching them jump fences and run through yards. At some point, he reached an intersection just as Brown and Amison crossed, and Brown asked Langham why he was following them. Langham replied he was looking for an address. Brown fumbled in his pocket and Langham was concerned he might have a weapon. Langham continued to follow them from a distance, and saw them stop on a main road. A Chevy Impala automobile pulled up, and the men got into the car. Langham wrote down the tag number and drove to the Prichard police station. Two other witnesses identified Brown as the man they saw running with Amison through the backyards and alleys of the neighborhood that afternoon.

Tamarcus Dickerson testified that he was the driver of the Impala and that he picked up Brown and Amison that afternoon. He and his girlfriend were just out riding around, he said, when Brown and Amison ran out into the street, and Brown asked Dickerson to drop them off. Dickerson stated that he knew Brown but not the other man. Just after Brown and the other man got into his backseat, Dickerson saw a pickup truck coming up behind him at a high rate of speed, so he turned the corner. A short time later he told the two men to get out of his car.

In the barbershop, police found a cabinet with the hinges pried open and the lock still intact. No shell casings or fingerprints were found, and all blood at the scene was Richardson's. Nothing was found that indicated the identity of the killer or killers. Richardson's keys, wallet, and cellular telephone had been stolen and were never found. Fragments of two bullets were found in the victim's head and neck, but they were so small and deformed that neither their caliber nor whether they were fired from the same gun could be determined.

Police apprehended Brown in the weeks after the murder when he was trespassing at a high school. Brown tried to run from the officers but was caught. At the police station, Brown waived his Miranda[1] rights and spoke to police, telling them that he had only heard about Richardson's murder on the news. He declined further comment and was arrested for felony murder. No stolen property was found in Brown's possession or in his house. However, Brown made a phone call from the jail, and he told Joshua Scott, his cousin and best friend, to get rid of the evidence related to " this murder." (R. 397.) Although Brown never mentioned exactly what Scott was to get rid of, Scott seemed to know what Brown referred to, and assured Brown that he had already gotten rid of it. They also discussed where he and Brown might have been during the time of the murder, indicating an attempt to establish an alibi for Brown. The voice on the telephone call to Scott was positively identified as Brown's. A recording of the telephone conversation between Brown and Scott was played for the jury.

ANALYSIS

I

In Issue III, Brown contests the trial court's admission of the recording and the transcript of Brown's telephone call from

Page 106

the jail to his cousin. He states that the evidence was not properly authenticated and that it was unsupported hearsay.

Brown's objection based on hearsay grounds is not properly before us for review. Brown did not object at trial based on hearsay grounds, and the statement of the specific grounds on which he did object waived all grounds not specified. Ex parte Coulliette, 857 So.2d 793, 795 (Ala. 2003). Therefore, ...


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