Dallas police say drug deal behind death of cop trial witness

Associated Press

DALLAS (October 9, 2019) — After days of feverish speculation, authorities said the killing of a witness who testified at the recent murder trial of a Dallas police officer had nothing to do with the closely watched case and instead resulted from a drug deal gone bad.

Authorities searched Wednesday for a third Louisiana man who is suspected in last Friday's killing of Joshua Brown, which happened just two days after a jury sentenced former officer Amber Guyger to 10 years in prison for killing her upstairs neighbor Botham Jean.

Police said Tuesday that Brown was killed at a Dallas apartment complex during a drug sale gone awry and that it had nothing to do with his involvement in the Guyger case.

According to police, the three suspects are from the central Louisiana city of Alexandria and one of them, 32-year-old Michael Mitchell, was arrested by federal deputy marshals Tuesday night in nearby community of Marksville. Mitchell's nephew, 20-year-old Jacquerious Mitchell, remained in critical condition at a Dallas hospital with a gunshot wound that police say he blamed on Brown.

The third suspect, Thaddeous Green, 22, remained at large.

Investigators believe the three were in Dallas to buy drugs from Brown, Assistant Chief Avery Moore said Tuesday. He said Jacquerious Mitchell told police that Brown shot him in the chest after Green and Brown began fighting during the drug deal, and that Green then shot Brown twice.

Green left with Brown's backpack and gun, police said. Authorities confiscated 12 pounds (5.4 kilograms) of marijuana, 149 grams of THC cartridges and more than $4,000 in cash during a search of Brown's home.

It is unclear how the three men came into contact with Brown or why they would have driven more than 300 miles to buy marijuana in another state.

The police announcement came amid widespread speculation about Brown's death, which happened two days fter a jury sentenced Guyger to 10 years in prison for killing her upstairs neighbor Botham Jean in a case that added to the debate over race, politics and policing in America.

Guyger, who is white, fatally shot Jean, who was black, in September 2018 in his apartment after she returned from working a long shift. She said she mistook his fourth-floor unit for her own, which was one floor below it, and believed Jean was an intruder. She was arrested on a manslaughter charge three days after the killing, leading to criticism that the charge was too lenient, but a grand jury later decided on the more serious charge of murder.

Brown, who was black and lived on Jean's floor, was one of several neighbors who were called by prosecutors to testify at the trial. He said that on the night Jean was killed, he heard what sounded like "two people meeting by surprise" and then two gunshots. He said he had met Jean, a 26-year-old accountant from the Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia, for the first time that day.

Although police say Brown's killing had nothing to do with the case against Guyger, the conspiracy theories surrounding his death underscored the distrust that some Dallas residents have for their police department.

"I have no reason to believe that their conclusions so far in the investigation are unreliable, but I believe ... some members of the community will have a difficult time accepting it because of their association ... with the Amber Guyger trial," Lee Merritt, an attorney for the families of Brown and Jean, said Tuesday.

Merritt urged the department to hand off the investigation into Brown's death to another law enforcement agency as a way to bolster trust.

But Moore, the assistant police chief, said Tuesday that it was reckless for people to speculate as to the circumstances surrounding Brown's death, adding that it undermined the public's faith in the department.

 

Comments

We moderate all reader comments, usually within 24 hours of posting (longer on weekends). Please limit your comment to 300 words or less and ensure it addresses the article - NOT another reader's comments. Comments that contain a link (URL), an inordinate number of words in ALL CAPS, rude remarks directed at other readers, or profanity/vulgarity will not be approved. More details

SIGN UP FOR OUR DAILY NEWSBRIEF

SUBSCRIBE

VOTE IN OUR POLL

What is your view of political polls?

CAST YOUR VOTE

GET PUSH NOTIFICATIONS

SUBSCRIBE

LATEST AP HEADLINES

Canada's Trudeau wins 2nd term but nation more divided
Clinton under fire from Dems over Gabbard comments
Blackouts possible again as fire danger looms in California
Striking Chicago teachers demanding affordable housing
South Pole's ozone hole shrinks to smallest since discovery

LATEST FROM THE WEB

Virginia: Can school districts write laws? A public school district is inventing its own homeschool requirements
New PragerU video shows 2 scientific reasons to doubt evolution
A glimpse inside Hillary (If you can stand it)
The Supreme Court is poised to strike down a major Obama-era agency
VIDEO: Students say rich people and taxpayers should pay their college tuition

CARTOON OF THE DAY

Cartoon of the Day
NEXT STORY
South Pole's ozone hole shrinks to smallest since discovery

WASHINGTON (October 22, 2019) — According to NASA, the ozone hole near the south pole this year is the smallest since it was discovered. But it has nothing to do with any anti-global warming efforts.