HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — Lawyers for LaJeromeny Brown, who is charged with killing Huntsville Police Department STAC Agent Billy Clardy, have asked the state to reveal the name of a confidential informant.
In a filing on Tuesday, Brown’s lawyers asked the court to order the state to produce any information related to the confidential informant in the case, including their name, deals entered with them and any interviews conducted.
“Undersigned counsel have requested any information on, documents prepared by,
or interviews recorded of the confidential informant (who is unknown to the Defense beyond a nickname) regarding what happened the day of the offense,” the filing says.
Brown’s counsel cites a Supreme Court case, Roviaro v. United States, where the court held that if a confidential informant is a material witness, or “an active participant in the illegal transaction which leads to the charges brought against the accused, then the accused is entitled to learn from the State the identity of the confidential informant and his address.”
During a status hearing Thursday the judge ordered that the information be released to the defense.
Prosecutor Tim Douthit said the informant set up the drug buy that resulted in Clardy’s death but that is the extent of their involvement. Douthit says the prosecution does not plan to call the informant to the witness stand during trial.
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.
Brown’s capital murder trial date is set for 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.
Over 600 people were set to be summoned for jury selection in this case, as Madison County Circuit Judge Chris Comer said the goal is to have a jury panel of 130 people.
The defense has already expressed concern about the climate surrounding this case.
In June, the defense asked the court to delay the trial based on media coverage of the March shooting where Huntsville Police Department Officer Garrett Crumby was killed and Officer Albert Morin was critically injured. 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.
Comer approved a request for up to $3,500 to pay for a jury consultant for the case, at a rate of $70 per hour. The court also approved 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.”