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George Wallace BROWN





Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Robbery
Number of victims: 1
Date of murder: April 22, 1990
Date of arrest: May 1, 1990
Date of birth: September 11, 1948
Victim profile: Horace Brown
Method of murder: Stabbing with knife
LocationPolk County, Florida, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on May 3, 1991

Supreme Court of Florida

opinion 78007 opinion SC02-1787

DC# 300160
DOB: 09/11/48

Tenth Judicial Circuit, Polk County, Case #90-3054
Sentencing Judge: The Honorable J. Tim Strickland
Attorney, Criminal Trial: Robert Doyle – Private
Attorney, Direct Appeal: Ronald E. Smith – Private
Attorney, Collateral Appeals: Mary Catherine Bonner – Registry 

Date of Offense: 04/22/90

Date of Sentence: 05/03/91

Circumstances of Offense:

George Brown was convicted and sentenced to death for the 04/22/90 murder of Horace Brown.

George Brown was arrested on 05/01/90 in Englewood, Colorado, on unrelated charges.  He had the wallet of Horace Brown in his possession.  When questioned further, Brown stated, “Horace D. Brown is dead.  He was murdered eight days ago.”  George Brown denied killing Horace Brown, claiming that he was only a witness to the murder.  George Brown then gave Colorado authorities the following account of the crime:

George and Horace reportedly met in a bar on 04/22/90.  After a few drinks together, George asked Horace if he would drive him to his girlfriend’s house in Polk City.  En route to Polk City, Horace pulled over onto a dirt road and met up with another friend named Danny.  Horace got into Danny’s car and George took Horace’s car, continuing on to his girlfriend’s house. 

George returned one hour later to the location where Danny’s car had been parked and found Horace’s wallet and watch lying on the ground.  George drove further down the dirt road and saw Horace lying feet first, on his stomach in a ditch.  George fled the scene when he could not detect a pulse from Horace’s bloodied body.

George Brown then drove to Orlando and cashed one of Horace’s checks for $650.  He then fled to Nashville and on to Colorado.  George Brown claimed that he did not report the murder to the police because of outstanding warrants against him. 

Based on the statement Brown gave to Colorado authorities, the Polk County Sheriffs’ Office was able to locate the body of Horace D. Brown.  Horace Brown had been stabbed three times and the body was found in the exact position described by George Brown.

George Brown’s girlfriend reported to police that George had left her house on foot on 04/22/90 and return later that night driving a car that she did not recognize.  She added that upon returning, George had blood on his clothes and told her that he had been in a fight.  She also noted that her pocketknife, which she normally kept in the bedside table, was missing.

Additional Information:

Brown was arrested on a warrant in Colorado for auto theft.

Trial Summary:

05/01/90          Defendant arrested in Englewood, Colorado on unrelated charges.

07/12/90          Defendant indicted on the following:

Count I:           First-Degree Murder

Count II:          Armed Robbery

08/06/90          The defendant entered a plea of “not guilty.”

04/30/91          The defendant was found guilty on Counts I & II, as charged in the indictment.

05/01/91          Upon advisory sentencing, the jury, by an 8 to 4 majority, voted for the death penalty.

05/03/91          The defendant was sentenced as followed:

Count I:           First-Degree Murder – Death

Count II:          Armed Robbery - Life

Case Information:

On 05/31/91, Brown filed a Direct Appeal in the Florida Supreme Court.  In that appeal, he argued that the trial court erred in allowing the State witnesses to testify that he was arrested in Colorado on a warrant for the unrelated crime of auto theft.  Brown also claimed the trial court erred in its application of the heinous, atrocious, and cruel (HAC) aggravating factor and in failing to consider mitigating evidence.  The Florida Supreme Court affirmed Brown’s convictions and sentence of death on 05/12/94.

Brown next filed a Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the United States Supreme Court, which was denied on 05/15/95.

He then filed a 3.850 Motion in the State Circuit Court, which was denied on 03/26/02.

Brown next filed an appeal of the 3.850 Motion denial in the Florida Supreme Court on 08/12/02.  On 12/02/04, the FSC affirmed the denial of the motion. 

On 07/14/03, Brown also filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the Florida Supreme Court.  On 12/02/04, the FSC denied the petition.

Brown filed a Petition for Writ of Habeas Corpus in the U.S. District Court, Middle District, on 01/25/06 that is pending.



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