HUNTSVILLE, Ala. (WHNT) — The man charged with capital murder in connection to the death of a Huntsville Police STAC agent was found guilty on Tuesday.
A jury found LaJeromeny Brown guilty of capital murder in the death of Huntsville Police Department (HPD) STAC agent Billy Clardy III during a drug sting in December 2019. The jury consisted of eight women and four men, only one juror was Black.
Clardy was shot in a house on Levert Street in Huntsville during a botched drug operation on Dec. 6, 2019. He later died at Huntsville Hospital. Investigators say an undercover officer had arranged to buy 100 pounds of marijuana from Brown. Clardy and two other officers were waiting inside the house where Brown had agreed to meet and Clardy was shot in the encounter.
The state called seven witnesses to the stand last Wednesday, the first day of testimony. Over the course of the day, the jury and witnesses were shown body camera footage from the shooting and several crime scene images. On Thursday, testimony was highlighted by Brown taking the stand in his own defense.
Brown admitted that he had fired a gun at somebody coming towards him in the house but maintained that he never knew there were any officers inside. Brown also apologized to the Clardy family, the community and his own family for putting them through this.
The jury began deliberations on Thursday and it took a total of 11 hours over three days to reach a verdict. They returned the guilty verdict Tuesday morning.
With the conviction, Brown could face the death penalty or life in prison for the conviction. Jurors will determine the sentence during the penalty phase of the trial, which began immediately following the verdict.
The penalty phase is structured like a ‘mini-trial’ with opening statements, witnesses and closing statements for the jury to hear before deliberating on the sentence.
Clardy’s wife, Ashley Boyd, was called to the stand as a victim impact witness. While on the stand, she testified about how the two had met, the encounters they had the day of his death and when she found out about her husband’s death. Boyd says one of their children was expecting a baby and had planned to tell him the next day but that he didn’t make it to hear the news.
She also testified that their youngest daughter, who was 12 years old at the time of Clardy’s death, won’t have her dad at several key life events such as homecoming, Sweet 16 or walk down the aisle at her wedding. Boyd shared one of their daughters will be getting married this upcoming Saturday.
Throughout the testimony, Brown was seen with his head down, eyes closed and fingers to his face.
The state then called HPD Captain Mike Izzo to testify. Izzo, a 30-year Huntsville Police veteran, testified to the character of Clardy saying he loved the community
After Izzo, the defense began calling witnesses. Their first witness, Lauren Spacek, a mitigation specialist.
Spacek says she met with Brown 12 to 15 times and spent around 20 hours with him. She told the courtroom that in 2021, she had traveled to Chattanooga to visit his mother. There were about 20 family members and friends that wanted to help.
“[LaJeromeny’s] mother was 15 when he was born. His biological father was 23. His father has never been a part of his life,” Spacek said. Brown’s grandmother filed a request with the courts in order to get help, as “his mother was not focused on raising him,” Spacek added. He went to live with an aunt before being placed in foster care.
Eventually, Brown’s mother was able to regain custody of him when he was three. She worked long hours at a mill in Chattanooga as a single mother, which left her children unsupervised.
Spacek told the courtroom that Patrick, Brown’s younger brother, looked at him as a father figure. Patrick was unable to attend Tuesday’s proceedings, however, he had attended the entire trial to this point. He said Brown “always made sure he was safe.”
Brown was an average student in school, and his eighth-grade teacher was concerned about his home life. At the age of 11, Brown was considered the man of his home.
Spacek said that due to him being unsupervised, he started hanging out with the wrong people and began getting into trouble.
He had his first child at 16, LaJeromeny Jr., then LaJerricka, and he was trying to be a good father. Brown and his uncle had a lawn care business that was successful for many years, Spacek added.
In 2013, Brown entered a guilty plea in a federal drug case. He maintained contact with his kids while in prison. After being released from prison, he started working on his commercial driver’s license, Spacek said while reviewing his transcript from Chattanooga State. He received his CDl in March of 2017.
The court broke for lunch and was set to return at 1 p.m. Updates will be added to this article, however, if you would like to see live updates, go to News 19’s Dallas Parker @ParkerReports on X (formerly Twitter.)