A 38-year-old Chattanooga man who pleaded guilty to two murders nearly 20 years ago began his trial in the first death Tuesday.
Fredrick "Bay Bay" Brown pleaded guilty on April 27, 1993, to charges that he'd shot Samuel Richard Scott four times on Sept. 5, 1991, then shot Corey Strickland on March 24, 1992, while free on bond and awaiting trial on the first murder charge.
The second murder trial has not been scheduled.
Brown's guilty pleas, given when he was 18, normally would have ended the judicial process for the teenager, but the way he was sentenced by then-Judge Douglas Meyer has given Brown another chance.
In 1993, Meyer sentenced Brown to serve two life sentences concurrently. However, under state law he must be sentenced to consecutive sentences because he was convicted of separate crimes.
Brown appealed Meyer's sentences. The state appeals court denied the appeal but a Circuit Court judge later granted a trial on each count.
Any information about the second slaying or Brown's guilty pleas cannot be revealed to the jury in the current trial.
On Tuesday, Hamilton County Executive Assistant District Attorney Neal Pinkston and Assistant District Attorney Lance Pope called eyewitness Kenneth Dozier.
Dozier testified that he and Scott were working on his truck at a house at 3818 Alton Park Blvd. when Brown walked up, pulled out a handgun and began shooting at Scott. Dozier said he dived beneath the truck.
Prosecutors said Brown chased Scott around the house and into a neighboring vacant lot, shooting him at least four times.
Brown's attorney, Donna Miller, told jurors Scott had robbed Brown two or three weeks before the slaying, holding a shotgun to Brown's head. She said he'd also followed Brown around the neighborhood with the weapon and, at one point, forced him to strip naked.
Brown has been incarcerated at the Southeastern Tennessee State Regional Correctional Facility in Bledsoe County.
The trial resumes today.
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 ...