0

Three men suspected of murdering drug dealers to go on trial

By Daniel Silliman

dsilliman@news-daily.com

Clayton County prosecutors are pursuing a strategy which could send three men, suspected of killing 11 drug dealers, to prison for life.

A month before Tyrone Vincent Brown, Gary Brown and Kevin Brewington go on trial on charges they murdered two men at a Morrow-area apartment complex, during a drug-related robbery, the District Attorney's office is pushing to secure a longer than normal sentence. John Turner, executive assistant district attorney, said he's indicted the trio on unrelated armed robbery charges and made a motion to have them designated "habitual violators."

That classification will allow Turner to seek a sentence of life without parole, if the three Boston, Mass., natives are convicted by a jury.

Turner said he's seeking the sentence because the three defendants are "the worst of the worst" murderers.

"These are some of the most hard-core types I've ever come up against," he said.

Tyrone Vincent Brown, 25, Gary Brown, 23, and Kevin Brewington, 22, allegedly set up a drug buy with 33-year-old Norris Degree and 44-year-old Stanley Brown, on Rex Road in May 2006, and then, armed with 9 mm pistols, shot them down.

The trio is suspected of nine similar murders in Boston, according to Clayton County police and prosecutors, where they would allegedly kill drug dealers and steal cash and narcotics. Boston prosecutors have not sent any information to aid the Clayton County prosecution, but District Attorney Jewel Scott said she's trying to get the Massachusetts authorities to cooperate.

Turner has admitted juries might be less sympathetic, in the cases against Brown, Brown and Brewington, because the victims were drug dealers. That is why, he said, the three thought they could kill 11 people without worrying about the consequences.

Turner has said he's committed, however, to prosecuting "the face of evil," regardless of sympathy for the victims. The Clayton County case against the three includes witness identifications, a shell casing positively matched to one of the men's guns, a phone call from the defendants to the victims immediately before the murders, and another inmate's testimony that Gary Brown admitted to the killings, while in the county jail.

Prison sentences without the possibility of parole are relatively rare, in Georgia, and can only be given to murder convicts, who faced the death penalty, or are classified as "habitual violators."

The trial of Brown, Brown and Brewington is set to begin next month.