Chattanooga woman faces 15 to 25 years after murder verdict

Chattanooga woman faces 15 to 25 years after murder verdict

February 1st, 2013 by Kate Harrison Belz in Local Regional News

Quinisha Brabson

The daughters of a man shot while trying to trade pills for crack cocaine are happy that his killer will face a decade or more in prison for the crime.

April Parsley and Tammy Nichols said their father, Timothy Nichols, 50, wasn't perfect but he was a good dad and grandfather who was trying to change his life around the time he was killed on April 8, 2010.

A jury deliberated seven hours over two days before reaching the verdict Thursday morning. They found Quinisha Brabson, 23, guilty of second-degree murder. She faces a 15- to 25-year sentence on March 18.

Brabson has been in jail custody since her arrest the night of the shooting. She will receive credit toward her sentence for the time served.

After the verdict, prosecutor Matthew Rogers returned to what he told jurors during his closing arguments. That even though Nichols had a drug addiction he didn't deserve to be killed that night.

Both he and Nichols' daughters thanked police and the jury for the result of the trial.

Brabson told police that Nichols drove up to her and some friends at the intersection of Main and Willow streets near midnight and held up a bottle of pills, asking to trade it for crack.

The woman told Nichols she didn't deal drugs and to leave them alone, she said.

But one of Nichols' passengers in his Cadillac SLS, Lisa Greenlief, testified on Tuesday that Brabson approached the car and shot Nichols in the back.

Greenlief admitted that she had traveled with Nichols, who was her fiance, and another man from Cleveland, Tenn., to East Chattanooga for him to trade his anti-anxiety pills for the street drug.

Defense attorneys Lori and Donna Miller did not deny that their client shot Nichols but challenged details of Greenlief's testimony. They told jurors there wasn't enough evidence to convict on second-degree murder and that Brabson was defending herself, thinking Nichols was about to attack her and her friends.

The Millers both said the situation was tragic but believe that many of the circumstances around the shooting influenced Brabson's fear and her reaction.

Physical evidence showed that the bullet Brabson fired from her handgun entered the car through the back driver's side window, through the driver's headrest and then into Nichols' back while he was still seated.

He lived long enough to drive the car more than a block away and crash into a telephone pole.