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Brett Bachelor


In the summer of 1979, 22-year-old Brett Allen Bachelor and Kenneth Mullins were arrested for the  strangulation  slaying  of  75-year-old  apartment  manager  Chester “Brownie” Brown in Hillsborough County, Florida. Despite  his  insistence  that he  was  innocent, Bachelor  was convicted in November 1979 and sentenced to fifteen years in prison.
 
At the time of Bachelor’s conviction, Kenneth Mullins was still awaiting trial. In preparing for trial, Mullins’s attorney, Richard Lazzara, found new evidence of his client’s innocence which supported Bachelor’s claims of innocence as well. Specifically, Lazzara  discovered that  a  key witness  had  misidentified  Bachelor  as  one  of the  killers.  Lazzara  notified the  prosecutor  in  the case, Bob Simms, who traveled out of state to re-interview witnesses in the case, and then agreed that Bachelor had been misidentified.
 
In1980, Bachelor  was  granted  a  new  trial  based  on  this  newly  discovered  evidence, and  the judge dismissed the case. The charges against Kenneth Mullins were dismissed as well.
 
Nearly  two  decades  later,  Claudia  Schauerhamer,  a  woman  imprisoned  in  California  for  credit card fraud, was implicated in the murder of Chester Brown based on information she had shared with  her  sister. Her sister  mentioned  this  information  to  police  when  they  were  investigating Schauerhamer’s  involvement  in  a  fraudulent  ticket  sale scheme. On  November  17,  1998, Schauerhamer  was  convicted  of  the  1979  murder  of  Chester  Brown. Sadly,  Brett  Bachelor  had already died in 1991.
 
- Meghan Barrett Cousino
State:FL
County:Hillsborough
Most Serious Crime:Murder
Reported Crime Date:1979
Convicted:1979
Exonerated:1980
Sentence:15 Years
Race:Caucasian
Sex:Male
Age at the date of crime:22
Contributing Factors:Mistaken Witness ID