Court Advocacy at Work in Tower Grove South
January 29th 2015: 1422-CR03776- ST V RASHOD DEONTA BROWN & 1322-CR00854Today 26 residents of Tower Grove South were present in court to support a resident who was the victim of a brutal attack and car-jacking, which took place on the 3700 block of Juniata on June 17th, 2014. The residents were there, also, to send a message to Judge Edwards (19th Circuit Court) that crime will not be tolerated in TGS.
The defendant, Rashod Deonta Brown plead guilty, in hopes of getting a slap on the wrist, for the charges of Robbery 2nd Degree (Felony B) and Resisting/Interfering With Arrest For A Felony (Felony D) which were commissioned during the June 17th, 2014 attack and carjacking. The defendant also plead guilty to a previous charge of Possession Of Controlled Substance Except 35 Grams Or Less Of Marijuana (Crack-cocaine) (Felony C) charge he received in January of 2013. The defendant had a warrant executed for the drug charge, due to missing the court dates and was able to evade arrest until he was caught with the stolen car in June of 2014.
Judge Edwards read the Neighborhood Impact Statement that residents of Tower Grove South signed and submitted during the hearing. He thanked the residents for appearing in court and stated that he understood the impact such crimes can have on a neighborhood. Judge Edwards gave the victim the opportunity to make a statement , in which he described the negative impact this crime has left on his life.
The prosecuting attorney reviewed for the court the minimum and maximum sentence for all charges to which Rashod Brown pleaded guilty. If all sentences were to run concurrent, the minimum sentence would be 5 years in the deparmentt of corrections.
Judge Jimmie M. Edwards sentenced Rashod Deonta Brown to 1 year in the city jail (granting the 8 months he has been awaiting trail as time served. and 5 years Suspended Imposition of Sentence (Parole). Judge Edwards justified this sentence by stating that the defendant was a first time offender, even though the drug charges happened a year and a half prior to the carjacking. Judge Edwards also stated that if the defendant would have been the one who physically assaulted the victim, he would have sentenced him to the department of correction.
Finally the defendant was given a firm warning that if he were to miss a parole meeting or violate parole in any way, he would be facing the 5 year sentence in prison. Judge Edwards did include a Neighborhood Order of Protection for Tower Grove South which states that Rashod Deonta Brown can at no time enter the neighborhood for the 5 years he is on parole. If he is caught doing so, it will be a parole violation.
While many of the residents in attendants where grateful they had the opportunity to support their neighbor, they were also disheartened by the sentencing realizing that this was not the defendants first offence and that he was a willing participant in a violent crime.
The goal of neighborhood Court Advocacy and Neighborhood Impact Statements are to support the victim, as well as educate and hold the courts accountable for lax and inappropriate sentencing which places criminals back on the streets. With each court appearance and impact statement the residents of Tower Grove South are standing up to crime and having there voices heard. Diligence will lead to success.
The 2nd defendant for the assault/carjacking, Rodney Jackson, has been placed on the docket for 02/17/2015; 9:00 AM with Judge Michael Kellan Mullen. Information on this hearing will be sent out as we receive it and we are anticipating a great show of support from the residents of Tower Grove South! Thanks to all signed the Neighborhood Impact Statements and showed up for court today, you are making a difference!