Date of Crime


Guilford County, NC Emmanuel Brown Sep 13, 1990 (Greensboro)

(Federal Case)  About an hour after a Greensboro, NC bank was robbed of $371,000 by two black males, Charles Walker was arrested at a mall parking lot 2 1/2 miles away from the bank for driving a U-Haul truck without a driver's license.  The next day police decided to charge him with the robbery.  No evidence linked Walker to the crime other than he being a black male.  Walker had rented the U-Haul truck with Emmanuel Brown's stolen driver's license.  Two weeks later police and FBI arrested Brown in Philadelphia, PA for the robbery and searched his home.  They found $67,365.85 and seized it on suspicion that it was part of the robbery money.  Brown, however, co-owned two nightclubs and a restaurant that took in large amounts of cash.

The FBI also charged two others, Susan Parker and Neil Harewood as participants in the robbery.  Prior to Brown's trial, Walker agreed to plead guilty and testify against Brown in return for a no-jail time sentence.  Harewood also agreed to plead guilty and testify against Brown in exchange for a five-year sentence.  Walker and Harewood claimed to have robbed the bank and that the robbery was masterminded by Brown, who was with them in Greensboro, but did not accompany them to the bank.  It is not clear that Walker and Harewood even robbed the bank.  Given their generous plea deals, there presumably was no physical evidence that they did.  Parker was a former bank employee, who allegedly provided inside information.  She had once traveled to Philadelphia where she had a family reunion at one of Brown's nightclubs.  She was acquitted.

Brown had two alibi witnesses who testified and presented documentation that he was in Philadelphia on the day of the robbery.  George Jackson, the owner of Jackson Auto Body Repair in Philadelphia testified that Brown picked up his car at Jackson's shop between 11 a.m. and noon.  This was about the time of the 11:30 a.m. robbery in Greensboro.  In addition, a physical therapist working for Cynwyd Medical Center in Philadelphia testified that Brown arrived for a regular therapy appointment at 6:10 p.m.  Since the distance between the Greensboro bank and medical center was 468 miles, Brown would have had to travel at a speed averaging over 70 miles an hour to make his appointment.

The prosecution's claim that Brown masterminded the bank robbery cannot, however, be refuted by an alibi.  Brown could have masterminded the robbery from Philadelphia.  The virtue of charging someone with being a mastermind is that the charge does not require physical evidence.  As the alleged mastermind, Brown was sentenced to 27 1/2 years in prison.  (JD32 p3)  [2/07]



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