HUNTSVILLE, Ala. — Attorneys for the man charged with killing Huntsville Police officer Billy Clardy on Dec. 6 want to visit the crime scene with their client.
Clardy was shot during a planned drug bust where LaJeromeny Brown was the target. The filing by Brown’s attorneys, John Brinkley and Brian Clark, argues the visit is necessary to prepare Brown’s defense. Brown is charged with capital murder.
The prosecution opposes the motion.
The request to visit the scene on Levert Street was filed Dec. 13.
“The facts of this case are so complicated that there is no way for the defendant to explain the situation to his attorneys properly in a manner whereby they could take pictures, take measurements, or otherwise properly investigate the scene of the alleged crime without his assistance,” Brown’s attorneys argued.
The defense contends that a denial of the request, would be a denial of due process.
Prosecutors responded to the filing Wednesday, flatly opposing the visit. They argue Brown is charged with a death-penalty eligible offense, is a flight risk, a danger to the community and has prior arrests for crimes of violence.
“Alabama courts have long held that an incarcerated capital murder defendant does not have a right to view a crime scene absent a ‘compelling reason’ and that a general assertion that a defendant’s presence is necessary to assist counsel is not sufficient,” Madison County Assistant District Attorney Tim Douthit argued in his reply.
The prosecution also says such a request hasn’t been approved by appeals courts in Alabama.
“Upon information and belief, no Alabama Court of Appeal has ever found a compelling reason to allow an incarcerated capital murder defendant to attend a crime scene in cases where crime scene photos and/or video exist and are provided to the Defense at the appropriate time.”
The case is currently before Madison County District Judge Patrick Tuten.
Brown is scheduled for a preliminary hearing on Jan. 27.