THE INSITE HAS CLOSE TIES TO THIS STORY THAT’S BEEN ONGOING FOR MORE THAN A DECADE!
I don’t know if many of you are aware that NFL player Warrick Dunn’s mother, a former Baton Rouge police officer, was shot and killed during a robbery more than a decade ago. Baton Rouge is the Insite’s hometown and I actually covered her highly publicized death and later conducted a radiothon to help raise money for Dunn and his 5 little brothers and sisters. He was the oldest with his guardian Greg Brown watching over the group. Brown was also The Insite’s physical education teacher back in the early 80’s at McKinley Middle Magnet school. Well anyway, his mother’s killers are still in court over various post trial issues. Dunn is currently a running back for the Atlanta Falcons. Here’s the latest from Baton Rouge:
It was another day in court in the post-conviction hearings of one of the participants in the murder of Police Officer Betty Smothers 15 years ago, but then, things quickly began to heat up in the courtroom. Defense attorneys went after the judge for the second time, trying to force him from the bench, to get him off the case.
Prosecutor Prem Burns got an earful and words were exchanged in the courtroom. After it was over, she was quite candid with us. A little over a month from now, it will be 15 years since Police Officer Betty Smothers was brutally murdered in a hail of gunfire when she and a grocery clerk were ambushed at a bank, where they intended to deposit money.
The grocery clerk survived to testify against the killers. One of the participants, Henri Broadway was back in court Tuesday for post-conviction motions. Prosecutor Prem Burns says Broadway was convicted in 1995 with a death penalty, and that he and his attorneys are still trying to foul the system and beat the rap by having Judge Mike Erwin dumped from the bench for what Burns called totally unfounded reasons. It was the second try and it didn’t work. Burns says, “So what he tried to do was get rid of the judge again. Judge Anderson heard the evidence and found there was no reason to get rid of Judge Erwin, so Judge Erwin is still on the case.”
Prosecutor Burns got fed up with what she calls the personal attacks by Broadway’s attorneys against her, the police who worked the case and the judge. She says she could file for libel and slander against Broadway’s attorneys. Burns says, “And they do not feel anything they do or say is wrong and that particularly, it aggravated me to say the least. They come into a courtroom and do this and don’t feel their behavior is unethical or unprofessional when apparently everybody else does.”
She didn’t stop there. Prosecutor Burns was upset enough to tell you exactly what is going on in court rooms with people like convicted killers Henri Broadway, Kevin Brumfield and their attorneys. She says it’s all about the death sentence. She says, “Ultimately, that is the goal of any of these people. It is not just the individual defendant they represent. The ultimate goal is to see that death penalty abolished in this state and every other state that has it.”
Kevin Brumfield and Henri Broadway were both given the death penalty for killing Officer Betty Smothers back in 1993. Henri Broadway also shot the grocery store clerk four times that night. Both men have a shot at post-conviction appeals, and both are still in that process 15 years after the killing.