Brown convicted of murder
It took a Caldwell County jury less than 15 minutes on Monday to sentence an area man to 30 years in prison for the murder of his common-law wife in the spring of 2003.
Alvin Brown, 38, was convicted of murder on Monday after eight hours of jury deliberation. Brown was convicted in connection with the shooting death of McMahan resident Nodie Fennell in April, 2003.
According to District Attorney Chris Schneider, Fennell, then 39, died in her home near McMahan from a single .20-gauge shotgun wound to the chest.
“The defendant admitted the shooting, but claimed that the shotgun went off accidentally as the two struggled for it,” Schneider said. “Mr. Brown will have to serve one half of his sentence, or 15 years, before he is eligible for parole.”
According to defense attorney Kelley McCormick, the jury did not believe that the crime warranted a life sentence, the maximum punishment available Brown”s crime.
“Given the facts of the case, Mr. Brown”s past and all of the facts surrounding it, the jury thought that 30 years was an appropriate sentence,” he said.
Because of the nature of the trial and possible threats against the Brown, Caldwell County Sheriff Daniel Law, who is in charge of court security, decided to install metal detectors in the District Courthouse and increase security for the duration of the trial. Though neither the prosecution nor the defense released specifics, there was concern about Brown”s safety, as well as that of his attorney and the Court staff.
“After he (Sheriff Law) heard about it, he made what he thought was the best decision for everyone involved,” McCormick said.
Sheriff Law could not be reached for comment on Tuesday afternoon.
McCormick said that his client has not made a decision regarding an appeal, pending formal sentencing.