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WAAY 31 I-TEAM: Man charged in Billy Clardy III’s murder faced federal drug, gun charges

Court records show LaJeromeny Brown is a convicted felon, but was still able to get his hands on a gun.

Posted: Dec 9, 2019 7:34 PM
Updated: Dec 9, 2019 9:06 PM

LeJeromeny Brown’s latest charge is capital murder for killing Huntsville Police Officer Billy Clardy III.

But court records show a long list of charges against Brown in federal and state courts in Texas and Tennessee.

LaJeromeny Brown

WAAY 31 has been working to uncover why some of these federal charges were dismissed.

Brown sits in the Madison County Jail with no bond, and we sifted through his lengthy criminal history to find out he's been charged 3 times federally, and two of those cases were dismissed. Back in October of 2013, Brown was indicted by the U.S. Eastern District of Tennessee on 5 serious drug-related charges. In 2015, he took a deal and pleaded guilty to one of the four charges.

We spoke with Assistant U.S. Attorney Chris Poole who told us he pleaded guilty to the most serious charge, which was conspiracy to distribution of cocaine and crack cocaine. He was sentenced to 41 months in prison and two years of supervised release, which was set to end in October 2018.

In February 2018, once out of prison and on supervised release, Brown was stopped along the Mexican border in Laredo, Texas, with a gun.

Because he was a convicted felon at that time, he was charged with possession of a firearm and ammunition by a person convicted. In June 2018, a judge filed a motion to dismiss the case. We reached out to her to see why she signed off on this, and are waiting to hear back.

Fast forward to August 2018, Brown is still on supervised release from his federal drug charge.

In Chattanooga, he was charged with aggravated robbery, burglary, kidnapping and impersonating a police officer during a home invasion. Once again, the charges were dismissed because the victim would not testify.

U.S. Attorneys told us if a victim does not testify, there is not enough evidence to prosecute, even taking into consideration Brown's criminal history.

We are still waiting to hear back from the Texas judge who signed off on dismissing the illegal possession of the firearm since he was charged with the crime while out on supervised release.

WAAY 31 also looked into how Brown, a career criminal, could get his hands on a gun several different times and always avoid major prison time.

U.S. Attorney Jay Town told us over the phone Monday he doesn't believe you can reduce violent crime without taking illegal firearms off the street.

After digging into the criminal history of LeJeromeny Brown, he should have not been able to possess a gun since he was a convicted felon.

Town is working to reduce gun violence in Northern Alabama through Project Guardian. The project focuses on federal, state, and local law enforcement to federally prosecute the use of illegal firearms. It also works to enforce the background check system and working to make sure those who are prohibited from using firearms for mental health reason don't get their hands on any.

On Saturday, Town pointed to the murder of Billy Clardy III as a reason it’s so important.

"We need to explain to a wife and give her an explanation as to why this defendant was roaming around the streets in the first place. We need to explain to these 5 children why their Daddy will never come home," says Town at the news conference.

He says agencies in the region have the tools to reduce the number of illegal firearms on the streets. Town says nationwide, in 2019, there's been 17,000 illegal federal fire arm prosecutions. He says that's up from 12,000 in 2016.

"Unfortunately firearms can be obtained by violent felons. And whether it's through theft or other means it is difficult," says Stephen Young, spokesperson for the Limestone County Sheriff's Office.

Young said deputies deal with convicted felons getting their hands on guns too often.

"The vast majority of your crime committed with fire arm is committed with a firearm owned illegally either by a convicted felon or its been stolen," adds Young.

Court documents obtained by WAAY 31 show Brown should’ve never had a gun because he’s a convicted felon and Friday’s arrest isn’t the first time police say they found him with a gun.

"In this case, you have someone who repeatedly violated the law. Repeatedly was in trouble with law enforcement in several areas," explains Young.

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