Victims of the State

Franklin County, OH

Thomas Broady

Convicted 1973 (Columbus)

Thomas Broady was convicted of murdering John Georgeoff. During Broady's trial, FBI agent Dick Cleary informed Detective Tom Jones Sr. that another suspect had credibly confessed to the murder. Jones responded by telling Cleary, “we have our man,” and he failed to inform the prosecutors or defense counsel about the confession. After Broady discovered the existence of the confession, he was granted a new trial and acquitted.  (Justice: Denied)  [12/06]

Churchill County, NV 

Broam & Manning

Convicted 1990 (Fallon)

Jack Ray Broam, 38, and his co-worker, Jay Cee Manning, 37, were convicted of sodomizing Broam's 9-year-old son, Neal. Both were sentenced to life in prison. Neal testified that the two sexually assaulted him as many as 50 times in one night. In 1998, the then 17-year-old Neal told a judge that his mother, Broam's ex-wife, locked him up and starved him until he was willing to falsely testify against the two.  (Broam v. Bogan)  [10/05]

Hamilton County, TN

Jerry & Mike Brock

2001 - 2003

(Federal Case)  Brothers Jerry and Mike Brock were convicted of conspiring to extort money from the Sessions Court of Hamilton County, Tennessee. The two had allegedly paid a deputy clerk, Simon Simcox, to remove the names of bail jumpers from the court computer system. The brothers purportedly did this so they would not have the money they put up for bail forfeited to the court. Both brothers were sentenced to 21 months in prison.

On appeal, the federal Sixth Circuit Court vacated the brothers' convictions. It ruled that the brothers could not be guilty of conspiring to extort money, since, at best, they were trying to keep their own money and a person cannot extort money from himself.  (FJDB) (Chattanoogan)  [9/08]

Yellowstone County, MT 

Jimmy Ray Bromgard

Mar 20, 1987 (Billings)

Jimmy Ray Bromgard was convicted of raping an 8-year-old girl. The victim said she was “60%, 65% sure” that Bromgard was her assailant after seeing him in a lineup and said, “I am not too sure,” when asked if he was her assailant at trial. Crime lab technician Arnold Melnikoff testified that hairs found at scene matched Bromgard and that there was only a 1 in 10,000 chance of them being from another person. DNA tests exonerated Bromgard in 2002.  (IP)  [10/05]

 Australia (SA)

Derek Bromley

Apr 4, 1984

Derek Bromley was convicted of the murder of Steven Dacoza in 1985.  (NetK)

Bronx County, NY 

Bronx Five


In 1984, five men were arrested and subsequently convicted for sexually abusing 20 toddlers at three New York City funded day care centers in the Bronx. All the convictions were overturned on appeal. Police investigations used techniques on children to produce false testimony and implanted memories. One defendant, Alberto Ramos, was convicted in 1984 after police used torture to extract a confession. He was cleared in 1992. He later filed a lawsuit and was awarded $5 million in 2003. In 1986, Rev. Nathaniel O'Grady was also convicted of child abuse. At his trial, one of the child witnesses apparently had not been coached enough and he identified the judge as his abuser. O'Grady's conviction was overturned on appeal in 1996. Albert Algarin, Franklin Beauchamp, and Jesus Torres, were also convicted of child abuse in 1986. Their convictions were overturned on appeal.  (Gauntlet) (Religious Tolerance) (FJDB)  [11/07]

Noxubee County, MS 

Levon Brooks

Sept 15, 1990 (Brooksville)

Levon Brooks was convicted of the rape and murder of his ex-girlfriend's daughter, three-year-old Courtney Smith. Courtney was abducted at night from her Brooksville home and her body was found in a nearby pond two days later. Brooks' conviction was based on the the forensic testimony of the medical examiner, Dr. Steven Hayne, and forensic bite-mark testimony given by Dr. Michael West. West testified that Brooks' two top teeth matched alleged bite marks on Courtney's wrist. Forensic evidence indicated the alleged marks were made post-mortem, as they were not accompanied by internal bleeding. Since Courtney's cause of death was drowning, it was unlikely the marks were human bite marks, as the perpetrator would have had to bite Courtney after she drowned. Dr. Hayne, however, disputed that the marks were post-mortem.

In 2008, Justin Albert Johnson, a local man who was an initial suspect in the murder, confessed to the crime after DNA tests implicated him in the murder of another three-year-old girl. Another man from the same town named Kennedy Brewer had been convicted of that murder using almost identical testimony that alleged bite marks on the victim matched Brewer's two top teeth. In his confession, Johnson adamantly denied that he bit either girl. Along with Brewer, Brooks was subsequently exonerated.  (MIP) (IP)  [9/08]

Fulton County, GA 

William Broughton

Feb 22, 1900

(Federal Case)  After receiving a letter he considered obscene, the City Solicitor of Atlanta, Nash R. Broyles, turned it over to Federal Authorities. The letter reflected pointedly on Broyles' moral character. It was signed Grant Jackson, so a man named Grant Jackson was arrested as well as William Broughton who was considered by authorities to be a close friend of Jackson and of necessity involved in whatever mischief Jackson might be involved. Broyles had sent both Jackson and Broughton to jail at various times for a variety of misdemeanors. Both Jackson and Broughton denied writing the letter or having any knowledge of it.
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 Escambia County, FL

Anthony Brown

Dec 21, 1982

Anthony Silah Brown was accused of murdering a deliveryman, James Dassinger, after another man, Wydell Rogers, who had been arrested for the crime, implicated Brown as an accomplice. Rogers had been given a deal in exchange for his testimony. Though a jury convicted Brown with a recommendation of life imprisonment, the judge imposed a death sentence. During a retrial, Rogers admitted he lied at the first trial and Brown was acquitted in 1986.  (PC) (FLCC)  [7/05]

 Washington, DC

Bradford Brown

Nov 2, 1974

Bradford Brown was convicted of the shooting murder of Rodney Frazier. The crime happened at 1601 W Street SE. A witness, Margaret Holton, saw the killer and would later testify that it was Brown. “I am sure of this guy's face,” said Holton. “I will never forget that face.” Holton lived with Frazier's father and other witnesses from the Frazier neighborhood corroborated her identification. Later investigation by Washington Police Detective Robert Kanjian determined that another man, Richard Harris, had committed the crime. Brown was released and cleared of the conviction in 1979.  (News Article)  [11/08]

Lucas County, OH

Danny Brown

Dec 5, 1981 (Toledo)

Daniel Brown was convicted of the rape and murder of Bobbie Russell. The crime happened in the Birmingham Terrace apartments in Toledo. Brown knew Russell and had dated her a few times in the months preceding her murder. Russell's 6-year-old son, Jeffrey, who said he caught a fleeting glimpse of the killer, gave a version of the events of the crime that was riddled with inconsistencies, factual impossibilities, and outright fabrications. Jeffery's insistence that “Danny did it” led to Brown's conviction. Years later DNA tests proved Brown innocent and identified the actual killer as Sherman Preston, who was serving a life sentence for a 1982 rape and murder committed under similar circumstances. In 2001, Brown was freed from prison after serving 19 years of incarceration.  (CM) (IP) (HistoryMike)  [6/09]

Caddo Parish, LA 

Darrien Brown

July 28, 1996

Darrien Wayne Brown was sentenced to life imprisonment without parole at hard labor for one count of aggravated rape. The victim, an elderly white woman with Alzheimer's disease, originally reported a theft. After police talked to her, she changed her complaint to rape.  (IIPPI)

Cache County, UT 

Debra Brown

Nov 6, 1993 (Logan)

Debra Brown was convicted of the murder of Lael Brown, her unrelated employer. Lael, an elderly man, was wealthy and owned numerous rental properties throughout Logan, Utah. He was known to keep large amounts of cash in his home from collected rent payments. During its investigation, police found that Debra had forged nearly $3,000 in checks to herself on from Lael's accounts. They alleged that Debra murdered Lael to conceal her financial deceit. At trial the medical examiner testified that the murder probably occurred Saturday morning between 6:30 a.m. and 10 a.m. – the only time that weekend that Debra didn't have an alibi.

However, evidence has since been uncovered evidence that the medical examiner initially declared the time of death to be midnight Saturday or early Sunday morning. They also have found evidence that suggests that the prosecutors and the medical examiner conspired to change the time of death to put Debra at the scene of the crime. Witnesses have since come forward to say that they saw Lael Saturday afternoon, eliminating the possibility that he was killed Saturday morning.

Debra's attorneys also believe that evidence about another potential suspect was never fully investigated. Bobbie Sheen was a tenant with a troubled past who had recently been evicted from one of Lael's apartments. Sheen had complained to a friend about Lael and his wealth, then mysteriously began flashing around large amounts of cash near the time of Lael's death. Sheen also had a gun almost identical to Lael's, which he refused to sell to his interested friend, but instead disposed of it in the marina. Brown told police about Bobbie Sheen's eviction and one of Sheen's friends tried to tell police about the angry comments and piles of money, but was told to stay out of it. Sheen committed suicide in August 2007.  (Deseret News)  [9/11]

St. Tammany Parish, LA 

Dennis Brown

Sept 1984 (Covington)

In Sept. 1984, a woman was raped in Covington, LA. Dennis Brown was not even a suspect in the rape, but he had unwisely volunteered to serve as a filler in a police lineup. The victim had only seen the eyes of her masked assailant, but she identified Brown in the lineup and at trial. On the basis of this identification, Brown was prosecuted and convicted. He served 19 years of a life sentence before DNA tests exonerated him in 2004.  (IP) (IPNO)

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. Brown was convicted of masterminding the robbery and sentenced to 27 1/2 years in prison.  (Justice: Denied)  [2/07]

 Putnam County, FL

J. B. Brown

Oct 17, 1901

J. B. Brown was convicted of the murder of a railroad worker, Harry E. Wesson. He was sentenced to death. Wesson's body was discovered in the shop yard of the Florida Southern Railway. Brown was convicted due to bits of circumstantial evidence combined with perjured testimony supplied by cellmates. He went to the gallows, but was spared being hanged when his warrant of execution was read aloud. The warrant mistakenly ordered the execution of the foreman of the jury that had sentenced Brown to death. Brown's sentence was commuted to life in prison. He was pardoned and released twelve years later, after the real killer confessed. In 1929, after Brown was “aged, infirm, and destitute,” the Florida Legislature awarded him $2,492, payable in $25 monthly installments.  (CTI) (FL Senate)

Spartanburg County, SC

Jesse Keith Brown

Dec 31, 1983

Jesse Keith Brown was sentenced to death for murdering John Horace McMillin, 63. McMillin was shot during a robbery in his home near Fingerville. The key evidence against Brown was the testimony of his half-brother, which was plagued with serious questions. Brown's conviction was twice overturned. He was acquitted at his third trial in 1989 when he presented new evidence that his half-brother was the true killer.  (PC)  [10/05]

 Hillsborough County, FL

Joseph Green Brown

July 7, 1973

Joseph Green Brown, also known as Shabaka Waglimi, was convicted and sentenced to death for the murder, rape, and robbery of Earlene Barksdale. Barksdale was the owner of a Tampa clothing store and the wife of a prominent lawyer. The prosecution told the jury that a handgun Brown had turned over to police at the time of his arrest had been used in the crime, but FBI ballistics tests had eliminated that possibility. Ronald Floyd, a man who held a grudge against Brown, testified against him. Brown had previously turned Floyd in to the police on an unrelated crime. At trial, Floyd emphatically denied that there was any deal for his testimony and the prosecution repeatedly emphasized to the jury that Floyd had no deal. Several months after trial, Floyd admitted that he had lied at trial, and that he had testified in return for not being prosecuted himself for the murder, and for a light sentence on another crime. State courts granted no relief to Brown, but the federal Eleventh Circuit Court ultimately vacated his conviction. Brown was released in 1987.  (CWC) (PC) (FLCC) (ISI)  [7/05]

 Dallas County, TX

Joyce Ann Brown

May 6, 1980

Joyce Ann Brown was sentenced to life in prison for the robbery and murder of Rubin Danziger, a Dallas fur-store owner. The crime occurred in Danziger's store, Fine Furs By Rubin, in Preston Center on Northwest Highway. After the getaway car used by the two female robbers was discovered, police found a car rental agreement in it signed by a Joyce Ann Brown. However, the car had been rented to a different Joyce Ann Brown. Police and prosecutors discovered the error before trial, but proceeded with the prosecution anyway. The victim's wife, Ala, had identified Rene Michelle Taylor, as the robber who shot her husband, and Brown as her accomplice. Taylor later revealed that another woman, Lorraine Germany, was her accomplice. Germany reportedly has a startling resemblance to Brown. Investigation also showed that a jailhouse witness, Martha Jean Bruce, had lied to convict Brown. Brown was featured on a 60 Minutes episode and was freed in Nov. 1989.  (CM) (CWC) (Archives)  [5/08]

Wilson County, NC

Keith Brown

Apr 22, 1991 (Wilson)

Keith Brown was convicted of sexually assaulting a 32-year-old woman and her 9-year-old daughter. Brown, who is mentally retarded, confessed to the crime under the pressure of police interrogation. He was released in 1997 after DNA tests exonerated him and implicated a Florida inmate. NC Governor Hunt pardoned Brown in 1999.  (IP)  [4/08]

Dauphin County, PA

Patrick Brown

Apr 8, 2001

Patrick Brown, who had no prior record, has spent ... nine years in a Pennsylvania prison serving a sentence of 22 to 70 years for a burglary/robbery he did not commit. He was convicted in 2001 by a jury on the basis of a victim eyewitness identification even though a second eyewitness did not identify him and even though the blue bandana worn by the robber and left at the scene bore the DNA of another. In 2006, five years into Patrick's sentence, the assistant district attorney who tried Patrick came into possession of DNA evidence that matched the DNA on the blue bandana. The DNA belonged to a male in custody in Pennsylvania who closely resembled Patrick. Perhaps because the statute of limitations now barred the prosecution of the actual perpetrator, the assistant district attorney took no steps to remedy Patrick's wrongful conviction. Without doubting the accuracy of the DNA evidence that established Patrick's innocence, the prosecutor did not contact Patrick's trial counsel, he did not inform the Court of the new, exculpatory evidence, he did not forbear from opposing Patrick's 2006 PCRA petition, he did not seek to remedy the conviction by any means. If he communicated the finding to Patrick in a 2006 letter as he claims to have done, the letter never reached Patrick and no copy has ever been produced.

[In Dec. 2009,] through a fortuitous chain of events, and without any awareness that the Commonwealth possessed the exculpatory DNA evidence, Patrick's new lawyer learned the identity of the actual assailant. She asked the trial prosecutor to have that person's DNA compared to the DNA on the blue bandana. At that point, the assistant district attorney said that testing would not be necessary since he already knew from the 2006 sample that the lawyer had correctly identified the real perpetrator.

On June 17, 2010, Patrick Brown was granted a new trial based on stipulated facts known to the assistant district attorney since 2006. The charges against Patrick have since been nolle prossed. The assistant district attorney maintains that he has acted as a "minister of justice." – Case Summary from PA Innocence Project  (Brown v. Beard)

Richard Brown - See Kansas City Five

 Cook County, IL

Brown & Houston

June 18, 1983

Robert Brown and Elton Houston were convicted of the murder of Ronnie Bell after being identified by some eyewitnesses. The murder was presumed to be gang related. In 1985, Anthony Sumner, an inmate cooperating with a federal probe of the El Rukn street gang identified the actual men involved in the murder as J. L. Houston (Elton's brother), Earl Hawkins, and Derrick Kees. At his trials Elton maintained that he was being mistaken by the identifying witnesses for his brother, J. L. It was undisputed that J. L. owned the car involved in the shootings, and the murder weapons were found in the car. Also it was maintained that J. L. was known to the police as an El Rukn hit man, and Elton was not an El Rukn. Two of the three actual men confessed. Brown and Houston were exonerated and released in 1989.  (CWC)  [12/05]

Cayuga County, NY 

Roy Brown

May 23, 1991 (Aurelius)

Roy Brown was convicted of murdering 49-year-old social worker Sabina Kulakowski. Following a fire at her house, firefighters entered the it to see if anyone was inside. While firefighters were inside, another firefighter, Barry Bench, who happened to be Kulakowski's ex-brother-in-law, found her nude body on a dirt road outside the house. She had been stabbed and strangled to death.

Brown had been angry at Kulakowski because she had removed his 17-year-old daughter from his home. After making harassing phone calls and mailing several angry letters about the decision, Brown was arrested. He served 8 months in jail for his actions and was released less than a week before Kulakowski's murder.

In 2002, after Brown's court documents were destroyed in a fire at his stepfather's house, he learned that under the Freedom of Information Act he could request not only his trial transcripts but also all the information the District Attorney had compiled on his case. From the documents Brown requested and received, he learned that police had initially suspected Bench of the murder. The more Brown learned about Bench, the more he wondered why police had not arrested him for the murder. Brown filed a motion to overturn his conviction based on the new evidence, but it was denied.

Brown then wrote a letter to Bench, accusing him of the murder. He wrote that with advances in DNA technology, there was no place for Bench to hide anymore. At the time Brown was not 100% sure that Bench was the killer, but he waited for a response to his letter. Five days later, Brown learned from the evening news that Bench killed himself by lying in front of an oncoming train.

DNA tests were subsequently performed that showed DNA supplied by Bench's daughter had a 50% match to DNA from a T-shirt found near Kulakowski's body. After Bench's body was exhumed, DNA was taken from it and tests showed it matched the DNA found on the T-shirt. In 2007, Brown's conviction was vacated and he was released from prison.  (Crime Library) (Post-Tribune)  [4/10]

 Broward County, FL

Brown & King

Nov 13, 1990

Timothy Brown, a mentally retarded man, gave a garbled confession to the murder of Broward Sheriff's Deputy Patrick Behan for which he was convicted. In 2001, the Miami Herald questioned the conviction in a series of investigative articles. In 2003, a judge threw out Brown's confession and Brown was released on low bail. It seems unlikely that he will be retried.

Brown's co-defendant, Keith King, also gave a confession after being coerced, threatened, and punched by detectives. King served a reduced sentence on a plea bargain to manslaughter and was free at the time of Brown's release.  (Miami Herald) (AP News)  [9/05]

Los Angeles County, CA

Titus Brown

Aug 17, 1984

Titus Lee Brown, Jr. was convicted of the stabbing murder of Israel Guzman Rangel. The murder occurred in a South-Central Los Angeles parking lot. The chief prosecution witness was Ricardo Pimental Baldavinos. Pimental testified that he saw Guzman being attacked by two men. Pimental drew his unloaded gun and approached the assailants in an attempt to scare them away. Presented with a series of photo lineups a few days later, he identified Brown as the killer. However, Pimental's identification was weak: The incident occurred at night; Pimental had never seen the assailant before; he only saw the assailant briefly, though his estimates of time varied from “a couple of seconds” to “five minutes”; he had been drinking earlier in the evening; he could not recall whether the assailant had facial hair; when first contacted by the police, Pimental denied any knowledge of the incident; and Pimental failed to identify Brown's photo when presented in a photo lineup at trial.
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 Union County, FL

Brown & Troy

July 7, 1981 (UCI)

Willie Brown and Larry Troy were sentenced to death for the murder of Earl Owens, a fellow inmate in Union Correctional Institution. Another inmate, Frank Wise, testified that he saw Brown and Troy leave the victim's cell shortly before his body was discovered. During appeals, Brown married a German anti-death-penalty activist named Esther Lichtenfels. She took an interest in the case and fitted with a legally authorized wire, obtained an admission from Wise that he had lied about the two men's involvement. Wise offered to tell the truth for $2000. Wise was then convicted of perjury and Brown and Troy were released in 1988.  (PC) (CWC) (FLCC) (ISI)  [7/05]

 Wales (Shrewsbury CC)

Eddie Browning

June 18, 1988

Edward Owen Browning was convicted of the murder of Marie Wilks, a 22-year-old who was seven months pregnant. Wilks' car had broken down on the eastbound M50 carriageway near Bushley, Hereford and Worcester. She had used an emergency phone on the side of the road to summon help but was abducted and stabbed shortly thereafter. The phone was left dangling from its cord and blood was found nearby. Two days later her body was found three miles away down an embankment on the eastbound carriageway. Her throat had been cut. She also had a broken jaw from being hit or kicked on the left side of her head.

Browning was identified as the perpetrator by witnesses after a composite sketch was made. In 1994, Browning was released from jail after an appeals court found that his conviction was unsafe. Judges ruled that the jurors might have changed their mind if they had known of police evidence about the murderer's car that was not disclosed at the trial.

Peter Clarke, an off-duty West Mercia officer, was filmed four days before Browning's arrest. He described the murderer's car as a silver-grey nonmetallic non-hatchback Renault car, with chrome bumpers and the registration number C856 HFK. Browning's car was a hatchback Renault, with plastic bumpers, and the registration number C754 VAD. Police had also failed to disclose two earlier statements from Clarke as well as one by another witness. These statements described what the witnesses saw on the M50. Browning was later awarded an undisclosed sum, believed to be in excess of £600,000.  (BBC) (Timeline)  [9/08]

Leo Bruce - See Buddhist Temple Innocents

Dane County, WI 

Penny Brummer

Mar 15, 1994 (Madison)

Penny Brummer was convicted of murdering Sarah Gonstead, a female friend of her lesbian ex-lover. The case against Brummer was built on conjecture and thin circumstantial evidence. Brummer's case is the subject of a book, Who Killed Sarah? by Sheila and Doug Berry.  (TruthInJustice)