Three men – Michael Mitchell, 32, Thaddeous Charles Green, 22, and 20-year-old Jacquerious Mitchell,have been charged with capital murder in killing of the murder trial witness, Joshua Brown, in Dallas, Texas
Police said the victim, Joshua Brown, who testified in the Amber Guyger murder trial, died in a ‘drug deal gone bad’
Brown was a prosecution witness at the murder trial of Dallas police officer Amber Guyger who in the end was found guilty for the murder of Botham Jean
The 26-year-old accountant was sitting in his living room, eating a bowl of vanilla ice cream when his upstairs neighbor, Amber Guyger, walked into his home and shot him in Sept 2018
After public outcry over the reluctance of Dallas PD to prosecute Guyger, she was ultimately charged, convicted of murder and sentenced to serve ten years prison for the 2018 killing of Botham Jean
The murder of Brown, a reluctant witness, just two days after Guyger’s conviction, set off feverish speculation that he may have been killed for testifying for the prosecution
Police say his death had nothing to do with the Guyger case and was the result of a drug deal gone bad
Suspect: Jacquerious Mitchell, 20, has also been charged with capital murder in the killing of Joshua Brown
Michael and Jacquerious were arrested days after Brown’s death and remain in the Dallas County Jail. Police are still looking for Green, the alleged shooter.
In October, Guyger was sentenced to ten years in prison after a jury convicted her of murdering Jean in Dallas, Texas.
The 31-year-old was off duty from the Dallas Police Department but still in uniform when she fatally shot the 26-year-old accountant in his own home in September 2018.
Guyger said she mistook Jean’s apartment for her own, which was one floor below, and that she thought he was an intruder when she opened fire.
Brown, a former aspiring footballer, had lived across the hall from Botham Jean at Dallas’ South Side Flats apartments last year when Guyger shot him.
His testimony provided key details for the jury, which led to Guyger being convicted and he broke down as he spoke of his own background and fear of gun violence.
Lee Merritt, an attorney for Brown’s family, said at the time of Brown’s death that he had had survived a shooting nearly a year before his death on October 4.
Brown later moved from South Side Flats three months after Jean was killed in September 2018, Merritt claimed.
He tried to keep a ‘low profile intentionally until some of the heat from the shooting in November passed over,’ Merritt added.
He also told how he did not want to testify at the trial but was subpoenaed by the Dallas District Attorney’s Office to give evidence.
‘He did not want to testify in that trial. He made it clear he had no interest in testifying in open court in that trial.
‘(Brown’s mother) knows that her son was really bothered by the fact that he was given a lot of exposure from the trial, a lot of unwanted attention,’ he said.
‘Dallas police announce three suspects in Joshua Brown homicide’ Amber Guyger trial witness Joshua Brown was shot dead ‘during a drug deal’ in an […]
Merritt claimed his family did not know if direct threats were made against him for his evidence in the trial. However they were aware remarks were made online branding him a ‘snitch’ and claiming he was cooperating with the state.
Following an emotional six-day trial, prosecutors had urged the jury to give a punishment of no less than 28 years, which is how old Jean would have been if he was still alive.
In Texas, a murder sentence can range from five years to life in prison, but the judge also instructed jurors on a so-called sudden passion defense, which carries a range of between two to 20 years behind bars.
Guyger’s sentence was met with boos and jeers by a crowd gathered outside the courtroom.
At trial Guyger testified that, returning from a 13.5 hour shift that night, parked on the fourth floor of her apartment complex’s garage, instead of the third floor where she lived – and found the apartment’s door unlocked.
Believing she was at her own apartment and seeing a silhouette of a figure who didn’t respond to verbal commands, Guyger said she fired two shots at Jean that killed him.
Jean had been eating a bowl of ice cream on the couch before Guyger entered his home.
Jean, who grew up on the Caribbean island nation of St Lucia, came to the U.S. for college and starting his career as an accountant.
His shooting drew widespread attention because of the strange circumstances and because it was one in a string of shootings of unarmed black men by white police officers.
Guyger was arrested three days after the killing and then fired from the Dallas Police Department. She was initially charged with manslaughter before a grand jury indicted her for murder.