Courtroom Blog: Hammad Memon Pleads Guilty to Murder

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) – Hammad Memon, accused Discovery Middle School shooter, pleaded guilty to murder Tuesday afternoon.

WHNT News 19 blogged from the courtroom — read the minute-by-minute updates below.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20132:30 pm

We’re in the main courtroom at the Madison County Courthouse. Still waiting for things to get started. The defendant isn’t here yet. Some of the attorneys are assembling.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20132:38 pm

More people are assembling. We’re expecting Memon in the courtroom in a few minutes, according to WHNT News 19’s Venton Blandin.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20132:39 pm

A bit of case history: Memon is accused of shooting classmate Todd Brown at Discovery Middle School in Madison on February 5, 2010. Both were 14 at the time. Memon is now 17 years old.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20132:41 pm

Memon’s mother allegedly helped him try to flee the country in April 2012. The two were caught in Dallas, Texas. His mother, Safia, and father, Dr. Iqbal Memon, are charged with hindering prosecution.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20132:46 pm

Hammad Memon is here. Just entered the courtroom with 5 to 6 deputies.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20132:46 pm

He is wearing an orange and white striped jail uniform.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20132:48 pm

Deputies put the defendant, Memon, in a corner room until everyone else arrives. Still waiting on prosecutors and the judge. Memon had metal shackles on his hands and legs.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20132:55 pm

Family members of Todd Brown, the student who died, just arrived. Prosecutors are here now too, Tim Gann and Jay Town of the Madison County District Attorney’s office.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20132:55 pm

We should get started shortly – Madison County Circuit Judge Karen Hall is expected any minute.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20132:56 pm

Madison County District Attorney Rob Broussard is also here.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:00 pm

Judge Hall is here. Here we go.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:02 pm

Judge Hall just called a recess. She exited the courtroom. Prosecutors are still present, but I don’t see the defense attorneys. Memon is also still in the side room.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:04 pm

Hammad Memon’s parents don’t appear to be here.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:06 pm

Still in the recess. In a holding pattern.

Drew Galloway May 28, 20133:08 pm

Memon being escorted to Judge Karen Hall’s courtroom.

(Photo: Hannah Ward)

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:16 pm

Memon is back in the courtroom now, with his attorneys.

Matt Kroschel May 28, 20133:16 pm

I have been told by the attorneys for Hammad’s parents,Dr. Iqbal Memon and Safia Memon, that did not plan on attending today’s court proceedings.

–Matt Kroschel Twitter: Matt_Kroschel

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:16 pm

Extra security here, to provide control.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:16 pm

Judge Hall is back.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:17 pm

Memon and his attorney are in front of the judge. Judge Hall is asking him to pronounce his last name.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:18 pm

Application for youthful offender status – judge explained to Memon that his attorneys filed it. She denied it.

Matt Kroschel May 28, 20133:18 pm

I have been told by the attorneys for Hammad’s parents,Dr. Iqbal Memon and Safia Memon, that did not plan on attending today’s court proceedings.

–Matt Kroschel Twitter: @Matt_Kroschel

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:19 pm

Judge says to Memon he is charged with murder. Explaining that the grand jury indicted him in the shooting death of Todd Brown. Judge Hall is making sure Memon understands what he is charged with.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:19 pm

Judge asking Memon his date of birth. He’s 17 now. Asking him if he can read, write and understand the English language. He says yes.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:20 pm

Judge Hall asking Memon if he understands this charge carries a penalty of not less than 20 years in prison. Memon says he understands.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:21 pm

She’s explaining he has the right to plead not guilty and have the right to a trial.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:22 pm

Memon says he understands all of these things.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:23 pm

Judge Hall is still explaining he has the right to trial, and all the facets a trial would include.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:23 pm

He says he is a legal U.S. citizen.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:24 pm

Several deputies are standing guard on both sides of the crowd.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:24 pm

Judge Hall is still explaining the ramifications of Memon entering a guilty plea, and what it would mean as far as an appeal.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:26 pm

Judge asking Memon if he has any questions so far. Asking him if he read and signed the document where he is waiving his rights.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:27 pm

Asst. DA Tim Gann explains what the state would show in the trial, if a trial were held. Gann says evidence would show Hammad Memon shot Todd Brown in the back of the head.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:27 pm

Judge Hall asks attorney Bruce Gardner if his client understands his charge. He says yes. Memon: “I plead guilty your honor.”

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:28 pm

Judge asks Memon if the plea agreement was in fact the paper he signed moments ago in the private room. He says yes.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:29 pm

Memon says he has something to say. “I’ve caused many problems, especially to the family of Todd Brown. I pray they can forgive me and I throw myself on the mercy of the court.”

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:30 pm

Judge: I will accept your plea agreement. Proceed to sentencing.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:30 pm

Judge: Memon sentenced to 30 years. He will receive credit for time served. $10,000 fine. $1,000 to crime victims’ fund and restitution.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:32 pm

Attorney Bruce Gardner asking if Memon can also receive time for credit served at the Neaves Davis Juvenile Detention Center. Judge Hall said that will be up to the intake officer once Memon is taken to prison.

“Good luck to all you,” Judge Hall said.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:33 pm

Memon is leaving the courtroom under heavy security. Judge is still present.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:34 pm

Prosecutors, defense attorneys talking now. Court appearance is over. Most of the crowd has dispersed.

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:35 pm

Statement from Dr. Dee Fowler, Superintendent of Madison City Schools:

“The events of February 2010 affected many lives. We hope that today’s action brings some small sense of closure to those whose lives have been irreparably altered.”

Claire Aiello May 28, 20133:36 pm

This concludes our live blog. We are working to get reaction from both sides outside the courtroom and will have more coverage tonight on WHNT News 19 at 5:00, 6:00 and 6:30 p.m.

Drew Galloway May 28, 20133:37 pm

Hammad Memon being escorted from the courtroom after pleading guilty.

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