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Last NameFirst NamePictureDC NumberAgencyCase Summary
BrownWillie 022323 Case Summary

Last Action

DateCourtCase NumberLast Action
11/12/1987  Released

Current Attorney


Last Updated

2008-01-09 11:43:13.0

Case Summary
Direct Links

The Commission on Capital Cases updates this information regularly

BROWN, Willie A. (B/M)     TROY, Larry (B/M)

DC# 022323                           DC# 022401

DOB: 06/06/50                       DOB: 07/24/50


­­­­Eighth Judicial Circuit, Union County, Case # 82-163

Sentencing Judge: The Honorable John J. Crews

Trial Attorneys: Bill Salmon, Esq. & Daniel Mazar, Esq.

Direct Appeal Attorneys:  Philip Padovano, Patrick Doherty,Steven Bolotin, APDs


Date of Offense:         07/07/81

Date of Sentence:       07/19/83


Circumstances of Offense:


Union Correctional Institution (U.C.I.) inmate Earl Owenswas stabbed to death by two black men in his cell around 5:00 p.m. on 07/07/81.


Willie Brown and Larry Troy were indicted for the murder on10/14/82. 


The State called U.C.I. inmates Frank Wise, Claude Smith andHerman Watson to testify as to the events surrounding the murder of Earl Owens.Frank Wise testified that he heard noises coming from Owens’ cell at the timeof the murder and saw inmates Willie Brown and Larry Troy emerge from the cellcarrying a towel or shirt with something wrapped in it. Wise testified that hedid not notice any blood on Brown’s or Troy’s clothing.  Claude Smith testifiedthat he heard a scream from Owens’ blanket-draped cell at the time of themurder and saw Brown and Troy, both with blood on their clothes, leave thecell.  Herman Watson testified to a conversation that he had with Troy on the afternoon of the murder, with Troy laughingly confiding in Watson that he (Troy) had “killed the cracker.”  Watson further testified that Brown asked Watson to getrid of Brown’s clothes and shoes, which Watson did. 


The State also called U.C.I. employees, Mitchell Andersonand Donald Conner to testify.  Anderson, a correctional officer, testified thaton the morning after the murder, while searching the prison athletic yard forevidence regarding Owens’ murder, he found a bucket containing an “inmate’sshirt and towel and stuff,” all of which had been partially burned.  The shirthad the name “W. Brown” on it.  Donald Conner, the laundry manager, who is incharge of tracking inmate clothing, testified that Brown was missing a set ofclothes. 


The defense called U.C.I. inmates Franklin Kelly, MichaelMadry and Noel White to testify as to the events surrounding the murder of EarlOwens.  Franklin Kelly and Michael Madry testified that both Brown and Troy had been in the prison chow hall at the time of the murder.  Noel White testified tohearing “odd sounds” coming from Owens’ cell at the time of the murder and toseeing two anonymous black males--not Brown or Troy-- leave the cell with abloody knife.  White further testified that Wise and Smith were not present atthe time of the murder and could not have been witnesses to the crime.  TheState impeached White’s testimony by demonstrating that White had previouslyidentified Brown and Troy as the men responsible for Owens’ murder. 


Trial Summary:


10/14/82          Indictedon one count of First-Degree Murder

06/16/83          Juryreturned a guilty verdict on the sole count of the indictment

06/22/83          Juryrecommended death sentences by a vote of 9-3

07/19/83          Sentencedto death


Additional Information:


As a juvenile, WillieBrown had an extensive criminal record.  As an adult and prior to the Owensmurder, Brown was sentenced to seven years imprisonment, with ninety-nine daysof community supervision, for a 1968 Robbery conviction, and was sentenced totwenty years imprisonment, with ninety-nine days of community supervision for a1976 Armed Robbery conviction.  Brown was serving this sentence at the time ofthe Owens murder. 


Larry Troy, prior to theOwens murder, was sentenced to five years imprisonment for a 1968 Armed Robberyconviction and three years imprisonment for convictions stemming from ArmedRobbery, Burglary, and Possession of Stolen Property charges in 1972.  Whileserving a term of twenty-five years for a 1975 Second Degree Murder convictionand a term of fifteen years, six months for Aggravated Battery and Possessionof a Weapon by State Prisoner convictions in 1977, Troy was charged with themurder of Owens.           


Appeal Summary:


Florida Supreme Court – Direct Appeal

FSC# 64,802; 64,803;69,427

515 So.2d 211


01/30/84          Appealfiled

11/12/87          FSCvacated conviction and sentence and remanded for retrial


Case Information:


On 01/30/84, Brown and Troy filed a Direct Appeal with the Florida Supreme Court, alleging that the trial courtimproperly failed to investigate a discovery violation by the State.  On11/12/87, the FSC agreed with Brown and Troy’s allegation and vacated theconvictions and sentences and remanded for a retrial. 


The State dropped thecharges when Frank Wise recanted his testimony. 

Law Enforcement/Prosecution Statements:


A request for a statementwas made to Spencer Mann, Public Information Officer for the Eighth Circuit,but no comment has been received to date. 


Defense Statements:


A request for comment wasmade to Bill Salmon, who represented Brown at the original trial, but nocomment has been received to date. 


Current Status:


After the Owens murder,Brown was sentenced for the following crimes committed on 04/02/99:

Burglary– Life imprisonment

ArmedRobbery – Life imprisonment

ArmedRobbery – Life imprisonment

ArmedRobbery – Life imprisonment

GrandTheft Auto – 5 years imprisonment

Leavinga Crash with Injury – 5 years imprisonment

Leavinga Crash with Injury – 5 years imprisonment

Resistinga Law Enforcement Officer with Violence – 5 years imprisonment

Battery of a Law Enforcement Officer – 5 years imprisonment

Battery of a Law Enforcement Officer – 5 years imprisonment

Battery of a Law Enforcement Officer – 5 years imprisonment


After the Owens murder, Troy was sentenced to twelve years imprisonment, with nearly two years communitysupervision, for a 1991 Unlawful Sale of Cocaine On or Near School Propertyconviction.  On 02/01/02, while on Conditional Release, Troy missed curfew, thusviolating the conditions of his parole, and was taken to a Miami county jailfor processing.  While he was being searched, crack cocaine was discovered, and Troy was arrested for Smuggling Contraband into a Detention Facility andPossession of Cocaine.  The charges were dismissed at trial, but Troy’s Conditional Release was revoked.  He was released on 04/24/03.



Report Date:   05/08/02          JFL

Approved:       05/08/02          WS

Updated:         10/05/06          JFL