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Timothy Brown

Other Florida Cases with Perjury or False Accusations
On November 13, 1990, 29-year-old Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Patrick Kelly Behan was shot point blank while sitting in his patrol car outside a convenience store in Broward County, Florida. He was writing up a shoplifting report when he was struck by a single bullet.

Prosecutors, under intense pressure to file charges, focused on 14 -year-old Timothy Brown, who had accumulated nine prior juvenile convictions, after a resident of the neighborhood, Rob McGriff, reported that he had heard that Brown and another youth, Keith Maddox, committed the crime. McGriff would later admit he lied because he was dying from complications due to AIDS and he wanted to get the reward.

Two days after the murder, Brown, who had an IQ of 56, was questioned as a possible witness, but police found him unreliable at the time because he appeared to be under the influence of drugs.

Eight months later, police said Keith King told police that he and Brown committed the crime. Brown was interrogated until he confessed to the murder. Brown later said he was beaten and threatened during the interrogation and recanted the confession as false.

Brown’s confession was the only evidence the prosecution presented at trial. A jury convicted Brown of first-degree murder in 1993 and sentenced to life in prison. King pled guilty and received a reduced sentence and ultimately was freed.

In 2001, the Miami Herald newspaper published a series of investigative reports that raised serious questions about how the confessions were obtained and suggested that Brown and King were innocent.

In 2002, another inmate credibly confessed to committing the crime. The inmate admitted that he had intended to shoot another deputy but wound up killing Behan, who resembled the intended target, instead.

In 2002, during a hearing on a federal petition for a writ of habeas corpus, a witness testified that he saw only one person run from the scene after the shot was fired that killed Behan—not two people, as the confessions obtained from Brown and King stated.

In 2003, U.S. District Judge Donald Graham granted the writ and vacated Brown’s conviction, saying he believed Brown was factually innocent. Graham ruled that if Broward County prosecutors sought to retry Brown, the confession could not be used because detectives had failed to properly read Brown his Miranda warning.

Brown was released on bail on May 14, 2003, and on June 5, 2003, after a further investigation was unable to turn up any additional evidence against Brown, the prosecution dismissed the charges against him. King’s conviction was never set aside. Brown never received any compensation for his wrongful conviction.

– Maurice Possley

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Posting Date:  Before June 2012
Last Updated: 7/3/2017
Most Serious Crime:Murder
Additional Convictions:
Reported Crime Date:1990
Age at the date of reported crime:14
Contributing Factors:False Confession, Perjury or False Accusation, Official Misconduct
Did DNA evidence contribute to the exoneration?:No