By Emily Jarrett firstname.lastname@example.org
February 11, 2014
A Sedalia man found guilty of first degree murder will spend the rest of his life in prison.
In November, Jamauhle D. Brown, 32, was found guilty of first degree murder, armed criminal action, burglary, tampering with physical evidence and committing a felony in furtherance of street gang activity in the 2010 death of Sedalia resident Michael “Mike-Mike” Smith.
In handing down his sentence Tuesday, Judge Robert Koffman called Brown “a predator, a scourge on society.”
“This (sentencing assessment report) shows a description of a wrecked life, you are a criminal by choice,” Koffman said. “The felonies you have been convicted of in the past are all serious — violence, weapons, drugs, trafficking. You are unique in that you’re one of the hard cores, you’re not an ordinary felon standing before me.”
Koffman sentenced Brown to life without parole on the murder charge, and life sentences on the armed criminal action and burglary charges, all to run concurrently. Brown was also sentenced to seven years in prison on the tampering with evidence charge and three years on the charge of committing a felony in furtherance of street gang activity, to run consecutively.
“These are harsh sentences for a reason,” Koffman continued. “Another human being’s life was taken so I don’t want to concern myself with yours.”
After the sentencing was finished, Koffman asked Brown if his attorney had been adequate, a standard question asked of all defendants after verdicts are decided. Brown said his attorney, Kathy Brown, had left his case “on the back burner” from the beginning, arguing that she was not prepared.
“She never cross examined any witness, she didn’t take pictures (of the crime scene), she came unprepared for my trial,” he told Koffman, his voice raised. “I wanted her to cross examine the witnesses at the house. They were all crackheads and gang members up there and she didn’t do anything (to discredit them).”
Brown also argued to Koffman that Five Block gang — of which he was accused of being a member of — isn’t a gang but rather “a drug team.”
“There’s not proof there’s gangs around (Sedalia),” he said. “I walk up and down these streets without a gun, you think if I was a gang member I’d be dead. My life has been wrecked, I’ve never been given anything.”
Koffman told Brown that he agreed Kathy Brown could have been better prepared, but Brown’s arguments about her ineffectiveness as council did not meet the standards necessary to rule he deserved another lawyer and trial.
“They say that justice is blind but it can never be blind in this town,” Brown argued. “I’m innocent, I had nothing to do with that death. An injustice has been done to me and I’ll be back in this court about it. And when I come back you will not be sitting on that bench.”
“Maybe not,” Koffman replied.
After the sentencing was finished, Kathy Brown and Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Mittelhauser took up another charge against Brown stemming from an April 2012 assault that accused Brown of throwing a cup of boiling water on a victim while both were in the Pettis County Jail. Brown pleaded guilty to the second degree assault charge and was sentenced to 10 years in the Department of Corrections to run concurrently with his other sentences.