A local judge set a trial date Tuesday for three men charged in the shooting death of Chattanooga rapper Robert “Brikk” Brown.
Dexter Talley Jr., 30; Julian Maurice Smit, Jr., 23; and Alonzo “Butch” Grace, 42, face a May 15 trial on charges of felony murder, aggravated assault, attempted first-degree murder and especially aggravated robbery in Brown’s death.
Brown, 33, was a member of the rap duo called Pinney Woods and used the stage name Brikk, according to Chattanooga Times Free Press archives.
Police say an eyewitness, Josquin Jackson, helped identify the three men shortly after Brown’s death during an alleged home invasion at 3929 Webb Oaks Court.
On March 28, 2009, officers found Brown’s body facedown in a house plant, bound with duct tape and shot multiple times.
Jackson also had been bound with duct tape and shot but survived.
Police delayed releasing information on the shooting because of concerns for Jackson’s safety at the time.
Some delay in the trial came when attorneys for two of the defendants passed the clients to other lawyers.
Hank Hill had represented Talley but, because of scheduling conflicts, asked that local attorney David Barrow take over the case.
Dan Ripper began representing Smith in October when Smith’s former attorney, Justin Woodward, learned he would leave in early 2012 for a military deployment.
Brown and his rap partner, Travis Moore, had signed a contract with Black Ice Records of Richmond, Calif., a subsidiary of Universal Music Group.
The duo had performed alongside nationally known groups such as OutKast, 8Ball & MJG and New Beginnings, which featured Chattanooga native Usher Raymond.
Brown and Moore attended Howard School of Academics and Technology, where they formed the group P-Dubb. They changed their group’s name in recognition of the Piney Woods neighborhood near Central Avenue.
Todd South covers courts, poverty, technology, military and veterans for the Times Free Press. He has worked at the paper since 2008 and previously covered crime and safety in Southeast Tennessee and North Georgia. Todd’s hometown is Dodge City, Kan. He served five years in the U.S. Marine Corps and deployed to Iraq before returning to school for his journalism degree from the University of Georgia. Todd previously worked at the Anniston (Ala.) Star. Contact ...