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Last NameFirst NamePictureDC NumberAgencyCase Summary
BrownAnthony 838162 Case Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action
2/14/1986  Released

Current Attorney


Last Updated

2008-01-09 11:43:13.0

Case Summary
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The Commission on Capital Cases updates this information regularly

BROWN, Anthony S. (B/M)

DC# 838162

DOB: 03/28/56


First Judicial Circuit, Escambia County, Case #82-5992

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable Joseph Q. Tarbuck

Trial Attorney: Robert A. Dennis, Jr., Private

Attorney, Direct Appeal: Michael Minerva, Assistant PublicDefender


Date of Offense:         12/21/82

Date of Sentence:       07/27/83


Circumstances of the Offense:


Evidence collected by the police indicated that theVeteran’s Gas Company received a phone call from an individual who identifiedherself as Annie Rivers at 3:30 p.m. on 12/21/82. The female requested that theminimum amount of gas be delivered to 3905 Pine Forest Road. Five minuteslater, the same individual called back questioning where the gas was. The orderwas relayed, via the dispatcher, to deliveryman James Dassinger, the victim.Dassinger never returned from his route and the gas company called the policeand reported him missing around 6:00 p.m. that night.


Deputy Schultz went to the neighborhood and stopped at ahouse to inquire about the location of the address of the gas request. WydellRogers, who was visiting a friend, answered the door at this house. He admittedthat the address in question was his, but he denied any knowledge of the gasrequest. Deputy Schultz then went to Roger’s residence (the address of the gasrequest) and found the gas truck and the body of James Dassinger. There was nowallet found on the body. There was a large wound under the armpit. A pad wasfound in the truck with a list of names; Annie Rivers was the last name on thelist. Two 410-shotgun shells were found at the scene. Two shoeprints thatresembled tennis- shoe prints were found about 150 feet southeast from thehouse. An employee from the Veteran’s Gas Company identified the body andindicated that no gas had been delivered to the house and that approximately$225.00 was missing.


During the inspection of the scene, Anthony Brown appearedat the address. Blood spatters had been found in the truck, and Brown had asmall spot of blood on the watch that he was wearing. The watch was taken intoevidence, and Brown was asked to go to the station for questioning. There hewas advised of his rights and signed a waiver. In his statement, Brown declaredthat he was a friend of Rogers and had stopped by for a visit and that he wasat a pool hall in Atmore, Alabama, earlier in the day. In a later statement,Brown indicated that he had been with Rogers earlier that day and had left tobuy drugs at the pool hall and then had returned. Brown had a fresh track markon his arm, possibly from an infection. Rogers was questioned on 12/21/89 and12/22/89. He did not show up for further questioning on 12/26-28/89. On12/29/89, authorities found an unserved warrant for Grand Theft on Rogers. He was spotted by an officer and promptly taken to the police station. During thequestioning, Rogers stated that he knew who was involved in the robbery and thekilling and named Brown and Ulysses Robinson. During the initial stage of theinterrogation, Rogers did not implicate himself, but later on testified andadmitted to participating in the robbery conspiracy.


Rogers testified that he stated that he arrived at the OaksTavern around 1:30 p.m. and was sitting in his car in the parking lot withDavid Davis. Brown approached the car and asked Rogers to get out of the car.Brown detailed his idea for the crime to Rogers, and Rogers stated that hewould go along with it. Rogers’ statements led to the conclusion that it wasBrown’s idea to commit the robbery. Brown got into the car and the three mendrove to Brown’s mother’s house to get a change of clothes. They drove to theJr. Food Store, where Brown and Rogers used the phone. Brown called informationand got the number to Veteran’s Gas Company.  He then used Rogers’ girlfriend’sname, and called the gas company and ordered 50 gallons of gas in a femalevoice. The three men drove to Rogers’ house and got a 410-shotgun and someshells that were under the house. Brown loaded the gun and stayed at the house.The plan was for him to hide in the bushes and wait for the deliveryman. Rogers drove to the gas station down the street and waited until he saw the gas truck. Hethen went to pick up Brown after the allotted five minutes. Brown was not atthe designated spot. Rogers then drove back toward the gas station and sawBrown standing on the side of the road. Brown did not have the shotgun. Rogers picked Brown up, and Brown stated that he had killed the deliveryman. Brown had awallet and a check. When Brown got out of the car he placed $50 over the visorand stated it was in case anyone inquired as to whether Rogers could pay forthe gas.


At the trial, Brown testified to a different sequence ofevents. He had been home until approximately 1:30 p.m. on 12/21/89. He thendrove to Oaks Tavern and saw Rogers. Next, he bought a six-pack of beer andtook it to the tavern and drank it. At approximately 3:30 p.m., Brown asked Rogers to take him home. He then walked back to the tavern around 4:30 p.m. Brown and twoother individuals then went to Atmore; they bought gas and dope. Brown returnedto the Oaks Tavern and then proceeded to Roger’s house to give him some pills.Brown stated that he did not know where the blood on his watch came from. Brownalso testified that Rogers had pulled a sawed-off shotgun on him several monthsearlier.


Fingerprints found in the truck did not match Rogers’ orBrown’s. Davis was never fingerprinted; thus his fingerprints were nevercompared to the fingerprints found inside the truck. Two of the charges against Rogers were nolle prossed because of insufficient evidence and information.The pathologist testified that the cause of death was a gunshot from closerange - within an inch. The death was almost instantaneous because of themassive bleeding.


Additional Information:


In 1974, Brown was arrested for Aggravated Assault twice andgiven one year and five-years probation. In 1975, he was arrested for Breakingand Entering; the charges were nolle prossed. In 1980, Brown was arrested forAggravated Assault and Battery and Burglary and was given a one-year suspendedsentence and one year of probation. In January of 1983, while out on bail fromthe murder charge, Brown was arrested for Possession of a Firearm by aConvicted Felon; the charges were dismissed.


Codefendant Information:


Wydell Rogers entered a plea bargain and pled guilty to acharge of Second-Degree Murder and Robbery with a Firearm in exchange for histestimony against Brown. Rogers received a life sentence for the murder and 15years for the robbery.

During Brown’s retrial, Rogers recanted his testimony. Hereceived three counts of perjury and was sentenced to five years for each. Rogers is currently incarnated at Wakulla C.I.


Trial Summary:


01/11/83          Defendant indicted on the followingcharges:

                                    Count I:           First-DegreeMurder

                                    Count II:         ArmedRobbery

                                    Count III:        Possessionof a Firearm by a Convicted Felon

07/15/83          The defendant was found guilty of thefollowing:

                                    Count I:           First-DegreeMurder

                                    Count II:         ArmedRobbery

07/15/83          A majority of the jury recommended thatthe defendant receive a life


07/27/83          The defendant was sentenced as follows:

                                    Count I:           First-DegreeMurder - death

                                    Count II:         ArmedRobbery – no separate sentence imposed      

09/01/83          The defendant nolle prossed for count III


Retrial Information:


09/27/85          Motion for retrial filed

02/10/86          Jury trial held

02/14/86          Defendant acquitted


Appeal Summary:


Florida State Supreme Court, Direct Appeal

FSC# 64,247

471 So. 2d 6


09/16/83          Appeal filed

05/02/85          FSC reversed the conviction and sentenceand remanded the case for a

new trial.

07/11/85          Rehearing denied

08/20/85          Mandate issued


Case Information:


Brown filed a Direct Appeal with the Florida Supreme Courton 09/16/83. The main issue raised in the appeal was that, prior to trial, theState held a deposition, without Brown present, of a deputy sheriff, who wouldbe unavailable at trial. The Florida Supreme Court found the State’s failure tofollow Rule 3.190 created the fundamental error of not allowing Brown toconfront and cross-examine the witnesses testifying against him. The Courtruled that this error was not correctable and, therefore, vacated Brown’ssentence and conviction on 05/02/85. The case was remanded to the circuit courtfor a new trial. The rehearing was denied on 07/11/85, and the mandate wasissued on 08/20/85.


On 09/27/85, a motion for retrial was entered into thecircuit court. A notice of trial was issued on 10/09/85. On 02/10/86, the jurytrial was held and on 02/14/86, Brown was acquitted on the charges ofFirst-Degree Murder and Armed Robbery. The main reason for Brown’s acquittalwas that Wydell Rogers recanted his testimony.


Prosecution Statement/Law Enforcement:


05/23/02          JudgeNovotney, the state attorney who tried Brown, had retired at the time of thissummary. She was traveling and unable to be reached for comment.


04/08/02          Letter sent requesting comment to EscambiaCounty Sheriff’s Department.

05/23/02          Information requested via telephone callto Escambia County Sheriff’s

Department. Noinformation has been received to date.


Defense Statements:


04/08/02          Letter sent requesting comment to Mr.Robert A. Dennis, Jr.

05/23/02          Telephonecall placed to Mr. Dennis who indicated that he would e-mail his comment. Nocomment had been received to date.


Current Status:


In August 1987, Brown was arrested for Armed Robbery,Possession of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony, Aggravated Assault, andLarceny; the charges were dismissed.


In September 1987, Brown was arrested for robbery and againthe charges were dismissed. 


Brown is currently serving a 30-year sentence for AggravatedBattery with a Deadly Weapon. The offense occurred on 02/20/90, and Brown wassentenced on 09/17/90. He also received a charge of Introducing a ControlledSubstance into a Detention Facility for which he received an additional threeyears on 06/18/96.  His projected release date is 02/07/13.



Report Date:   02/27/02          NMP

Updated:         10/05/06          JFL