Monday, October 29, 2012

Devon Brown found guilty of murder for 2010 Fourth of July weekend shooting

Devon Brown found guilty of murder for 2010 Fourth of July weekend shooting
By:  Michael G. Lander

After a three day trial, on Friday, Oct 12, a jury found Devon Brown,22, guilty of murder in the first degree.  He was convicted for the death of 24-year-old Kimberley Jamerson on July 3,2010.  He was also convicted of 13 counts of attempted murder in the first degree, 13 counts of aggravated assault, employing a firearm during a felony, and reckless endangerment. 

He, along with his brother, Kenneth Brown, had faced the same charges.  Kenneth Brown had already been found guilty, on all counts, in a previous trial.  An alleged accomplice, David Richardson, is still awaiting trial.

The defendant, Devon Brown, chose not to testify on his own behalf and his attorney, Public Defender Dianne Thackery, did not call any witnesses in his defense.   

According to statements given to police, and testimony of eye witnesses, an argument over marijuana had started between one of the residents at 2706 North Meade and Kenneth Brown on July 3, 2010.  The argument escalated into a physical confrontation and Kenneth Brown left the scene after the fight. 

Later that afternoon, the residents at North Meade had family and friends over for a barbecue meal and fourth of July weekend get-together.  At around 8:30 p.m., Kenneth Brown returned to the neighborhood with his brother, Devon Brown, and David Richardson.  From 3840 Helmwood, the three allegedly opened fire toward the North Meade residence.  

In a statement that he gave to police, Devon Brown claimed self-defense and said the residents at 2706 North Meade had fired upon the three of them first, shattering the rear window of his brother's car. 

Crime scene investigator, Demar Wells, testified that there were 61 rounds fired from the Helmwood address with 15 spent 9mm casings found at 2706 North Meade.

Tennessee Bureau of Investigation Fire Arms Forensic Scientist, Steve Scott, said that the shell cartridges indicated that a 20-guage shotgun, a rifle, an AR-15 style assault rifle, and a 9mm semi-automatic handgun were fired from 3840 Helmwood address toward the home at 2706 North Meade.  None of these weapons were ever recovered by police.

In recounting the events of July 3, 2010, the aunt of Kimberley Jamerson, Sonja Watkins, described it as "sounding like a war zone."  Others testified that they first thought that the gunfire was fireworks since it was the fourth of July weekend.  While the accounts vary, most of the witnesses said that it lasted between seven to 15 minutes.
After it stopped, Watkins went out and found her niece on her front lawn with a gunshot wound to the head. Another guest of the Watkins party, Lamarcus Moore, had also been struck in the leg and was transported to the hospital by his uncles where he later recovered.

Because of the significant amount of gunfire, Memphis Police crime scene investigator, Demar Wells, said that it took the team of investigators about 10 hours to work the scene, to photograph, and to collect evidence.

Following the trial, the mother of Jamerson, Willie Brooks-Howze, said that her 24-year-old daughter had been working to become a pediatrician.  "She really had a big heart and wanted to help people," Brooks-Howze said.   Jamerson was also the mother of two small children.

Devon Brown will receive an automatic life sentence (of 51 years) for the first degree murder of Kimberley Jamerson.  He, along with his brother, Kenneth, will be sentenced for the other charges against them on Nov 16 by Division 7 Criminal Court Judge Lee V. Coffee.  Their alleged accomplice, David Richardson, will face trial on March 18, 2013.

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