Three men have been indicted by a grand jury on capital murder charges in the death of Joshua Brown, who was a key witness in a former Dallas police officer’s murder trial for the killing of Botham Jean.
Jacquerious Mitchell, Michael Diaz Mitchell and Thaddeous Green were indicted in the fatal shooting of Brown on Oct. 4 in what prosecutors allege was an attempted robbery. Jacquerious Mitchell, 20, and his uncle Michael Diaz Mitchell, 32, are currently booked in Dallas County Jail in lieu of $500,000 bond each. The indictments, handed up on Thursday but not made public until this week, were first reported Sunday in the Dallas Morning News.
Police are still searching for Green, 22, and consider him armed and dangerous. It’s unclear if any of the three indicted men have attorneys.
Brown, 28, was gunned down outside the Atera apartments in Dallas, where he had moved after Jean’s murder at the South Side Flats. He later died at Parkland Memorial Hospital in Dallas.
Brown’s death came just days after he testified in the trial of Amber Guyger, a white former police officer who was off duty but still in uniform when she shot Jean, a Black man, in his own apartment on Sept. 6, 2018. Guyger argued that she fired at Jean because she believed she had entered her own apartment in the building and thought she’d confronted an intruder. She was found guilty of murder and was sentenced to 10 years in prison in a case that was watched throughout the country.
Brown had testified that he lived across the hall from Jean and that he had just returned to the apartment building the night Jean died when he heard what he believed to be two people meeting by “surprise,” followed by gunfire.
He ran for safety, then later returned to find Guyger talking on her phone before police arrived. Guyger was “crying, explaining what happened, what she thought happened, saying she came in to the wrong apartment,” Brown testified.
According to police, the three men indicted in Brown’s death had traveled to Dallas from Alexandria, Louisiana, to buy drugs from the victim when a fight began, leading to gunfire in the parking lot.
Jacquerious Mitchell told police that Brown shot him in his chest before Green shot Brown twice and killed him. The three men then fled, and Jacquerious Mitchell went to seek medical help at Parkland, where police said he was taken into custody. Michael Mitchell was apprehended Oct. 8 by U.S. marshals in Marksville, Louisiana.
Brown’s death immediately after his testimony fueled widespread speculation that it was revenge for being a witness in Guyger’s trial and that Dallas police may have been involved in his killing.
But authorities stressed that those rumors are “false” and jeopardize the integrity of the police force, which had already suffered a blow to its reputation with Guyger’s murder of Jean.
At the time of Brown’s death, civil rights attorney Lee Merritt said that Brown pleaded not to testify on the stand in Guyger’s trial because he feared it could put his life at risk. Brown survived a shooting in November 2018 that left one man dead and one of two shooters at large, and he believed he was in danger.
“Josh was concerned that these people still meant him harm so when he was subpoenaed to testify against Amber Guyger he was conflicted,” Merritt said in a Facebook post. “Ultimately he decided that it was just too dangerous.”
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