HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — LaJeromeny Brown, who is charged with killing Huntsville Police Department STAC Agent Billy Clardy, is set to go on trial in mid-October and prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Brown’s defense team told the court this week it needs more help, and the court approved their request.
The defense filed a motion Tuesday requesting the court approve up to $3,500 to pay for a jury consultant, at a rate of $70 per hour. The defense filing says it is a death penalty case and would-be jurors will be asked to answer a lengthy questionnaire.
The defense also asked the court to approve the selection of Huntsville attorney Robin Wolfe to assist with jury selection.
Wolfe has extensive experience in jury selection in death penalty cases, the defense filing notes. Defense attorney Bruce Gardner said in the filing that he has previously worked with Wolfe on death penalty cases and that she “has keen insight into this process.”
Madison County Circuit Judge Chris Comer approved the request on Wednesday.
Brown, who is from Chattanooga, is charged with killing Clardy during a botched drug sting in December 2019. Investigators said Brown had allegedly agreed to sell undercover officers 100 pounds of marijuana and the buy was set to take place at a house on Levert Street.
According to testimony from Brown’s preliminary hearing, Clardy approached Brown after he entered the house and Brown shot him. Clardy later died at Huntsville Hospital.
There is a status conference set for Sept. 6. and Brown’s trial date is Oct. 16.
If he is convicted of capital murder, there will be a penalty phase where the jury will decide if he should be given the death penalty or be sentenced to life in prison without parole.
The defense has already expressed concern about the climate surrounding this case.
In June, the defense asked Comer to delay the trial based on media coverage of the March shooting where Huntsville Police Department Officer Garrett Crumby Crumby was killed and Officer Albert Morin was badly wounded. Huntsville resident Juan Laws has been charged with capital murder in Crumby’s death.
In July, Comer denied the motion to delay Brown’s trial.