DECATUR, Ala – Court documents say 19-year-old Aaron Brown admitted to killing his 66-year-old grandmother in her home on Locust Street, June 11th. Brown’s mother is now hoping to share the failures of the mental health system prior to the incident.
“The past couple years I feel like I’ve lost my son. I’ve seen him slipping away,” said Amanda Powell, Brown’s mother.
Brown, while not convicted, according to court documents told detectives after he was read his rights, that he “killed her” when referring to his grandmother. Brown’s grandmother called family and 9-1-1 before her death, claiming Brown “hit her.”
Court documents and family say Brown could be heard yelling through the phone. Brown’s mom says Aaron had been struggling with mental health which worsened after a stint in the Morgan County Jail.
“While he was in jail, he was trying to commit suicide. Banging his head against walls and floors,” said Powell. “Putting them in solitary confinement to the point where you already know they are mental, they are going out of their mind…they need to be put in a facility.”
Family says around the age of 16, Brown started to say things that didn’t make sense. Like he was detached from reality. Brown’s family says a few years ago they got Aaron admitted to a facility in Birmingham. His family says that helped for a period of time.
However, Brown’s mental health eventually got worse.
Brown’s family along with court documents say Aaron was waiting to receive treatment before the incident with his grandmother..
“We kept hoping that any day now, that they would come pick him up. They never came and got him,” said Powell.
The shock for the family made worse, as Brown’s grandmother was one of Brown’s biggest supporters. Family says they would urge Brown’s grandmother to call 9-1-1 when Aaron would harm himself or attempt to harm others. The grandmother relayed her concerns to family about involving law enforcement again.
“I don’t want to send him back to jail. They are going to hurt my baby,” said Krista Powell on a conversation she heard from the victim.
The actual emergency call that lead to the discovery of Brown’s grandmother was a regular welfare check. The family says police were on scene for 20 or so minutes without going in.
“They should have just kicked the door down. They might coulda saved her live. She might coulda been resuscitated,” said Powell.
Decatur Police did not return comment Tuesday. Brown’s family says they’ve tried to speak with Aaron since his arrest. They’ve been told he’s on suicide watch.
“No matter what you have done, it’s not too bad for God to forgive you. Don’t worry about what nobody else says. We all love you. We forgive you. We are not mad at you. We want you to get the mental help you deserve,” said Powell if she had the opportunity to speak to her son.
Brown’s family says Aaron may have been struggling with drugs. Brown has a preliminary hearing scheduled for this Thursday.