Teens charged with murder

Published 12:00 am Monday, March 21, 2005

Two Selma high school students were arrested and charged with capital murder for the death of Charles Edward Brown yesterday.

Brown was found in a vehicle just off the Highway 80 bypass, according to police, injured by an apparent gunshot wound to the head.

He was transported to Vaughan Regional Medical Center, where the 20-year-old was pronounced dead.

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Police were called to the scene at about 3:30 a.m. Sunday, where Brown was found near the Jefferson Davis Avenue exit.

A patrolman, Officer Edward Merrell arrested the two suspects almost immediately after the incident, police say.

Merrell reported to the area after hearing gunshots.

He saw a vehicle leave the bypass in a “reckless manner,” running a stop sign, according to a Selma Police Department press release. Merrell stopped the car with the two youths inside. Soon after, dispatchers reported a shooting victim in the area. Merrell detained the suspects and later a pistol was recovered from the car, the release stated.

“He was doing his job and was in the right place at the right time,” Public Relations Officer Lt. David Evans said.

Detectives Tory Neely and Tommy Buford investigated the incident. They arrested both the driver and passenger of the car, and charged both with capital murder.

Police say they suspect the passenger was the shooter.

Police also identified the passenger as a victim in a March 5 shooting in the 1200 block of Alabama Avenue.

It was unknown if the two were related. Police don’t have a motive in the shooting, and the case is still under investigation.

Police said they charged the suspects with capital murder because of the nature of the crime.

“Since the shooting took place into a vehicle and/or from a vehicle,” the report stated.

Both subjects are being charged as adults, but police are withholding their names because of their ages.

Both suspects could be sentenced to life in prison, according to state law. Capital murder usually carries with it the possibility of execution, but the United States Supreme Court recently ruled that underage defendants couldn’t be executed.

This incident is the third killing to occur in Selma this year.