MOBILE, Ala. (WALA) - A Mobile County jury convicted Broderick Brown in the murder of Prichard barbershop owner Sam Richardson.
Brown showed little emotion as the jury delivered its decision.
“Obviously, we're very pleased that the jury returned the verdict that they did: two counts of felony murder,” said Prosecutor Jobeth Murphree.
"He's a coward."
That's what Murphree said as she stared down Brown during her closing arguments Tuesday, September 11 in Judge Robert Smith's courtroom.
“As I was talking to the jury and I was thinking about Mr. Richardson and what a good man he was, what a good life he's led never putting himself in harm’s way,” said Murphree. “And here's some young punk who decides he's going to go in and take advantage of that situation.”
Murphree argued that barbershop owner Sam Richardson, businessman and reverend, was targeted by Brown and suspect Andrew Amison because Richardson was an easy target. Murphree theorized that the two suspects went after Richardson for money, even if it wasn't much money, and in the process of robbing Richardson he was killed, but by whom is in question.
Defense attorney William Hughes argued that this case hinges on nothing more than circumstantial evidence: Brown running from the scene with Amison, as supplied by key witnesses who've testified during trial.
Hughes gave the jurors an anecdotal example of how circumstantial evidence could lead someone to the wrong conclusion.
He said two kids see a delicious pie sitting on a kitchen table, they decide to eat one slice but ultimately devour the entire pie. Suddenly, the father of one child arrives home. The child knows he will be in trouble for eating the whole pie, so he takes the family cat and rubs its face in the now empty pie shell.
Hughes said, "The father walks in sees the empty pie and then the cat with pie all over its face, what conclusion you think he'd make?"
Hughes, getting back on point, told the jurors that the prosecution wants them to fill in the blanks of the story in order to convict Brown of felony murder.
He said the facts do not show that Brown broke-in, robbed, or shot Sam Richardson. He said there's also no scientific evidence presented that links Brown to the crime scene.
Hughes told jurors the prosecution alleges that Amison did the killing, but it has not presented any evidence to show it.
Judge Smith took about 30 minutes to read his charge to the jury, after which he sent them to lunch.
Jurors deliberated for about 30 minutes before returning a guilty verdict.
Hughes would not comment afterward; only saying that this is not over.
Brown’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for October 9.
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