Appeals court upholds conviction of man who killed trooper

Russell E. Brown (Courtesy: Meherrin River Regional Jail)
Russell E. Brown (Courtesy: Meherrin River Regional Jail)

DINWIDDIE, VA (WWBT) - A court has upheld the conviction of a Chesterfield man charged with murder and attempted capital murder of a Virginia State Police Trooper, after he appealed.

When Russell E. Brown first went on trial for killing Master Trooper Junius A. Walker and engaging in a shoot-out with responding officers, he told the court his fate seemed to be sealed.

"I don't understand these charges," said Brown, who was 28 years old at the time. "I only killed one person, so why do I have two murder charges?"

In a black and white prison jumpsuit, Brown appeared to be unfazed by the gravity of the charges and told Judge Valentine Southall he wanted to represent himself.

"Y'all are going to execute me anyway," Brown told the judge. "Why would I need an attorney?"

Following the conviction, the jury recommended two life sentences for the capital murder and attempted capital murder charges, ten years for an attempted murder charge and a total of thirteen years for firearm charges.

Brown appealed the decision, based on the following "errors":

1. The trial court erred in denying [appellant's] Motion for Grand Jury Information for the Preceding Five Years.
2. The trial court erred in denying [appellant's] motions for change of venue.
3. The trial court erred in limiting questioning and denying [appellant's] motion to strike prospective jurors Delores Palmer and Aaron Whitworth for cause.
4. The trial court erred in denying [appellant's] motion to strike the capital murder charge.
5. The trial court erred in denying a second-degree murder instruction.
6. The trial court erred in admitting testimony about an alleged statement made by [appellant] during his arraignment.
7. The trial court erred in denying [appellant's] Motion to Set Aside the Verdict.

In a 40-page document the court details why the conviction was affirmed:

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