Murder victim honored by memorial service

Published 12:00 am Sunday, March 27, 2005

As the sky darkened over Selma on Friday, a large crowd began to gather on a grassy area just beyond the intersection of Roosevelt Avenue and Highway 80.

They surrounded a hand-made sign decorated with a purple ribbon and candles glowing beneath it.

Printed on the sign was one word: “Chucky.”

Email newsletter signup

Family, friends and neighbors of Charles Edward “Chucky” Brown had come to join in a memorial service honoring the victim of Selma’s latest murder. Brown, 20, was killed

March 20 after being shot in the head.

Brown’s body was found in a vehicle just off the Highway 80 bypass around 3:30 a.m. He taken to Vaughan Regional Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

Soon afterward, two Selma High students were arrested and charged with the crime. Jessie Brown (not related to Charles Brown) and Isaac Oliver, both 17, were charged with capital murder and are being held in the Dallas County Jail without bond.

Brown’s funeral was held Saturday at Ellwood Church.

Hattie and Benjamin Hale, Brown’s parents, say they are trying to cope with the loss as best they can.

“I’m taking things one day at a time,” Hattie said. “I just can’t accept it.”

The Hale’s described their son as a giving person, willing to do anything for those he loved.

“If he had $20 and you needed some money, he would give you $19 and keep a dollar for himself,” Hattie said. “He was loved by everyone. He was just a giving, caring person.”

Benjamin said Brown was the family member that everyone leaned on whey they needed support.

“It’s hard for us. Chucky was a pillar for my wife,” Benjamin said. “He made us want to be the person that he was. Chucky is always going to be in our hearts.”

Everyone at the memorial service held candles during prayer and scripture readings.

There were a few muffled cries throughout the service, while others openly shed their tears.

Pat Page, a local resident who helped organize the memorial service, said she did not want Brown’s death to be in vain.

She said Selma’s youth needs to find peace and end the bloodshed. Pointing to Brown’s friends Page said they were “reaching out for someone to embrace.”

Page said the memorial service was held on Good Friday as a symbol of the change that is going to come to Selma.

In his speech to the crowd, Leroy Berry, one of Brown’s friends, said it was time for the violence to end.

“We ain’t got to show people we are bad,” he told the crowd. “Selma is such a small community, it’s best to have peace where

you live.”

The Hale’s said they will try to do everything they can to prevent more young people from dying in Selma due to violence.

“If we can save another child from getting gunned down in Selma, we will,” she said.