Brown requests new trial in Iowa City murder case

Convicted in November of first-degree murder in Petsel Place shooting

Published: January 2 2014 | 1:53 pm - Updated: 29 March 2014 | 1:34 am in
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Brandon Brown, convicted last year of gunning down an Iowa City man in 2012, has requested a new trial days before he's to be sentenced.

According to online court records, one of Brown's attorneys -- Sarah Hradek -- filed a motion on Monday seeking a new trial. Brown is scheduled to be sentenced this coming Monday for first-degree murder, a class A felony that carries an automatic life sentence.

Brown was found guilty in November of killing 30-year-old Donelle Lindsey on June 21, 2012 on Petsel Place in Iowa City. Testimony showed Lindsey had spent the day with his friend, DiMarco Harris at an apartment complex on Petsel Place on the west side of Iowa City. Brown had spent the afternoon with his friend, Byron Fisher.

The four men converged sometime around 11:26 p.m. that night. Harris' and Fisher's testimony offered different accounts of what came next, but both men agreed that Brown shot Lindsey multiple times at close range. A medical examiner testified Lindsey was shot five times, with two of the bullets piercing Lindsey’s heart, liver and kidney.

A third state witness, Nicole Blosser, testified she drove Brown to Chicago the night of the shooting and heard Brown confess to shooting Lindsey.

Throughout the trial, Brown's attorney, Brian Sissel, hammered those three witnesses on inconsistencies in their statements and their failure to cooperate with the police investigation. At the conclusion of the state's case, Sissel requested a motion for a judgment of acquittal based on the lack of evidence against his client, but that motion was denied.

Assistant Johnson County Attorney Dana Christiansen said during his closing statement to the jury that it is not uncommon for witnesses to violent crimes to be unwilling to cooperate with police investigations. He also suggested witnessing the traumatic shooting might have affected the men's memory.

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