A Texas death row inmate named Arthur Brown Jr. was executed on Thursday by lethal injection. Brown was convicted of murdering four people in Houston during a drug robbery in 1992, which came to be known as the “Brownstone Lane Murders.”
In the trial for the case, Arthur Brown Jr.'s lawyers argued that he was not intellectually sound and thus should not face execution.
One of Arthur’s accomplices in the robbery was Marion Dudley, who was executed in 2006. Another accomplice was sentenced to life in prison. Until the very end, Arthur Brown Jr. maintained his stance, saying that someone else had killed the four people in 1992.
Arthur's execution happens to be the second one in Texas this week. On Tuesday, 51-year-old Gary Green was executed for fatally stabbing his estranged wife and her daughter. He was administered a lethal injection at 7.07 pm.
What happened during the 1992 robbery that Arthur Brown Jr. was incarcerated for?
In 1992, a drug robbery in Houston killed four people, including a pregnant woman. Six people were present at the scene, all of whom were tied up and shot at. Four of them died. They were Jose Tovar (32), Frank Farias (17), Jessica Quiñones (19), and Audrey Brown (21).
The convicts were Marion Butler Dudley, Arthur Brown Jr., and Antonio Lamone Dunson. Dunson was sentenced to life imprisonment, while the other two received death sentences. Authorities also mentioned that Arthur Brown Jr. was a member of a drug ring that smuggled drugs to Alabama from Texas.
Dudley was executed by lethal injection in 2006. On Thursday, Arthur Brown Jr. was also executed in the same manner. Despite being convicted, Brown kept saying that he did not commit the killings.
While delivering his final words, Brown said:
“It’s been 30 years now, the state refused to turn over evidence. Nine of the 10 trial motions were filed for the discovery of evidence, but each was denied each time. I asked for DNA, but I was denied DNA."
He additionally said,
“The victim's son was identified on the audiotape it wasn't me or the co-defendant. The state hid the evidence so long and good that my own attorneys couldn't find it.”
He ended his statement by saying:
“Tonight, Texas will kill a second innocent man for a murder that occurred in 1992.”
By “a second innocent man,” Arthur was referring to Marion Dudley, who was one of his accomplices in the drug robbery, and had also maintained his innocence in the matter throughout.
Arthur’s legal team also requested that the court order a stay on the execution so that additional evidence could be reviewed. The attorneys further claimed that those pieces of evidence were withheld by the former Harris County District Attorney’s Office.
The team claimed:
“[Arthur Brown Jr.] was an intellectually disabled man who has spent the last 30 years of his life on Texas death row for a crime he didn’t commit.”
Many people on several social media platforms also spoke out against capital punishment and tried to stop Brown’s execution.
One of the surviving victims claimed to have seen Brown holding a gun
Rachel Tovar, who was present at the scene and also got shot, claimed that she saw Brown holding the gun. However, Brown’s lawyers mentioned that she suffered from “severe memory issues” after being shot, implying that there was a fair chance that she was getting confused.
However, Rachel confirmed that one of the perpetrators was Arthur Brown Jr., claiming that she already knew him since he had purchased drugs from her and her husband, Jose, multiple times.
Several police interviews with Anthony Farias, Rachel’s son, were also presented as evidence. Anthony, however, reportedly identified a different man as the shooter.
Before the execution, Maricella, the sister of shooting victim Jessica Quiñones, said:
“I don’t see how anybody could have just killed a pregnant woman and then made her suffer so much. It’s just beyond words.”
Authorities revealed that at around 6.20 pm local time, a lethal injection was administered to Brown, and he was declared dead at 6.37 pm. Jessica Quiñones’ family witnessed Brown being executed and released a statement. The statement mentioned that the family “is at peace and every decision has been righteous.”