|Darrien Wayne Brown
Louisiana State Penitentiary
Angola, LA 70712
|DOB: July 22, 1967|
|Darrien W. Brown's case data|
|State and Parish||Louisiana, Caddo Parish|
|Crime||one count of aggravated rape|
|Date of Crime||July 28, 1996|
|Date of Arrest||July 28, 1996|
|Date of Conviction||July 10, 1997|
|Sentence||Life at hard labor without the benefit of parole, probation or suspension of sentence|
|Age at the Date of Crime||29|
|Contributing Factors||Mistaken Eyewitness Identification, Perjury, False Accusation, Official Misconduct|
|Did DNA evidence contribute to the conviction?||Yes|
|Is there DNA evidence to test?||Yes|
The initial complaint was theft! When the police of Vivian, Louisiana, arrived at the alleged crime scene, the crime mystically mounted to forcible rape and first degree robbery, also reflected in the Bill of Information of September 6, 1996. On October 3, 1996, the Grand Jury of the Parish of Caddo eventually charged Darrien Brown with aggravated rape and first degree robbery. The trial jury acquitted Brown of the robbery charge.
Darrien Brown was charged with and convicted of aggravated rape of a 70-year old woman, although no “weapon or instrument” was used according to the Sexual Assault History. A weapon was not needed in this case, because La. R.S. 14:42(A) provides that a rape committed upon a person 65 years of age or older is an aggravated rape.
Darrien Brown wants to show how a woman with Alzheimer called a friend (some “Mrs. Halford”), who allegedly called the police station to report a theft, then called 911, and a couple of hours later he was being arrested for aggravated rape and first degree robbery. After Vivian police officer Louis Florence had talked to the alleged victim, the crime turned from the original theft complaint to rape.
Darrien Brown’s account:
I had been on probation for around a half year and employed as a laborer at the V.I.P. Boat Manufacturers in Vivian, Louisiana, when I was accused of a crime I had not committed. On the early morning of the alleged crime (Sunday, July 28, 1996), I was asleep in bed at my mother’s house. The night before (Saturday, July 27, 1996), my cousin Melvin Brooks and I had gone out with two married females. We attended another cousins’ birthday party, and around 10:00 P.M., we were at Jack’s Bar, a local club. All four of us left the club together, but in separate cars trailing each other. Me and my cousin were in his car. The two women were in the second car together. Melvin dropped me off at my mother’s house at approximately 11:30 P.M. The female I was out with dropped Melvin’s date off at her house a few minutes later. Melvin’s date lived across the street from my mother.
My brother Anthony opened the door and let me into the house. I remained there until police officer Louis Florence arrived early Sunday morning of July 28, 1996. I was arrested for aggravated rape and first degree robbery of an elder, white lady (Sybil Twitchell), who initially had reported a theft only. Dewailia Hill, who also had been at the club the night before, and police officer Louis Florence implicated me in the crime. Neither one of the three people, whom I was with the night prior to my arrest, were subpoenaed. I was convicted of the aggravated rape and acquitted of the first degree robbery charge.
The State’s theory:
Darrien Brown was harassing Dewailia Hill, who allegedly had known him “for a good number of years,” in front of her apartment at 669 Redbud Courts, Vivian, Louisiana, between 5:30 A.M. and 6:15 A.M. on Sunday, July 28, 1996. Hill called the police and described Brown to the patrolling police officer Louis Florence. Florence got from her a description of Brown’s clothing, name, address, and in what direction he was heading to when he had left.
Darrien Brown came by victim Sybil Twitchell’s house at 501 South Spruce Street, Vivian, Louisiana. She was in her front yard and they began talking. Witness Andrea Gorsulowsky jogged by and she later would identify Darrien Brown as the person she saw that morning having a conversation with Twitchell.
Brown grabbed and slapped Twitchell knocking her glasses off. He made her take off her clothes, forced her to the ground of the greenhouse in the back yard, and raped her vaginally. Afterwards, he ordered her to re-dress. He threatened to kill her and demanded the money she had in her purse in the house. Twitchell gave him three twenties and one ten dollar bill.
When Brown was gone, Twitchell phoned her friend, Mrs. Halford. Mrs. Halford called the police. Patrol officer Louis Florence arrived. Twitchell described the perpetrator to him and the description matched the one of Darrien Brown, which Dewailia Hill had provided.
The police took Twitchell to L.S.U. Medical Center to collect a rape kit, seized clothes from Brown, and took his DNA.
The victim’s address was 501 South Spruce Street in Vivian, Louisiana. Darrien Brown was arrested at his mother’s house, 120 Lovette Street. The alleged perpetrator fled on foot and would have needed around half of an hour for the distance.
Sunday, July 28, 1996
05:30 hrs: According to Patrol Officer Florence’s field notes based on Dewailia Hill’s statements, Brown got out a car and followed her to her home.
06:12 hrs: Dewailia Hill calls police. According to the dispatcher’s log, the name of the person harassing her is some Daryl Wayne Carroll.
06:20 hrs: Patrol Officer Louis Florence arrives at 669 Red Bud Courts, Dewailia Hill does not want to file any charges.
06:15 – 06:45 hrs: (theft) “Incident occurred” according to the victim Sybil Twitchell
06:40 hrs: According to the DA’s Office, witness and jogger Andrea Gorsulowsky states that she leaves her house with the intent to run her daily route of two miles.
07:00 hrs: According to Gorsulowksy’s statement to the DA’s investigator, she reaches the victim’s house. “The victim appeared to be raking up grass clippings and the black male appeared to be helping.” “It sounded as if it was a friendly conversation.”
07:10 hrs: According to Florence’s report, Augie Brown (Darrien Brown’s mother) last sees her son Darrien, when she gets up. He is sleeping in his bed.
07:15 hrs: Witness Gorsulowsky gets home according to her statement to the DA’s investigator.
07:40 hrs: Sybil Twitchell (or her friend) calls police about a theft
07:44 hrs: Officer Louis Florence arrives at the scene, 501 South Spruce Street (victim Twitchell’s address), to take a report
07:50 hrs: According to Florence’s report (7/28/1996), Chief Morgan and Investigator Nelson arrive. Nelson takes photographs and fingerprints. According to Nelson’s report, the house is full of people, and he cannot save fingerprints at the crime scene.
08:14 hrs: Officer Vernon Roberts takes the victim to L.S.U. for the medical examination
08:57 hrs: Officer Florence leaves the scene
09:00 hrs: Officer Florence is at 669 Red Bud Courts and asks Dewailia Hill for a description and the address of the suspect
09:08 hrs: Patrol Officer Louis Florence arrives at Lovette Street, Darrien Brown’s home.
09:50 hrs: According to the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office, Darrien Brown is arrested for aggravated rape and first degree robbery.
09:51 hrs: According to the Vivian Police Department, Officer Florence arrests Darrien Brown along with Chief Morgan and Investigator Nelson on Choctaw Street for aggravated rape and first degree robbery.
10:00 hrs: Investigator Ryan Nelson begins to interview Darrien Brown.
Although Investigator Ryan Nelson for the Vivian Police Department had said to the alleged victim Sybil Twitchell that she did “not have to identify,” he eventually pushed her. He said to her, “You need to make a pick between number 3 and number 4.” (See Interviews of Witnesses)
The same report reads that “after [witness Andrea] Gorsulowksy identified the defendant, Chief Morgan showed Gorsulowsky two Polaroid photos that had been taken of the defendant the morning of 7-28-96 following his arrest for “resisting.” – Gorsulowsky identified those photos as well. Nelson could not explain why Morgan showed the two single photos” to Gorsulowsky and Twitchell.
It may have been the other way around. The identification procedure was not recorded and it is unknown what was shown first – whether it was the line-up, or whether it was the single image of the newly arrested suspect. Fact is that Gorsulowsky learnt through the two single photos how the arrestee looked like at that time. She would remember that image later in court.
Photo line-ups have been challenged in the courts throughout the USA since series of wrongful convictions. Improperly conducted line-ups sent innocent people to prison. Go here to learn more about mistaken eyewitness identification.
The Striped T-Shirt
No single police report gives specifics as colors or the kind of stripes about the T-shirt that the culprit allegedly was wearing. Therefore, any striped T-shirt the police men could have found anywhere near Brown would have matched the vague description by the alleged witnesses.
Investigator Ryan Nelson explained to Investigator Don Ashley (District Attorney’s Office) that “when he first contacted the defendant in the jail he did not formally charge him with the rape and robbery.”
According to the “Arrest Report by the Caddo Sheriff’s Office” and the “Incident Arrest Report by the Vivian Police Department,” Darrien Brown was charged with aggravated rape and first degree robbery upon arrest at 09:50 A.M. (or 09:51 A.M.) on July 28, 1996.
Investigator Ryan Nelson wrote in his report on July 28, 1996, “At approximately 10:00 A.M. on 07-28-96 I Investigator Ryan Nelson was at the Vivian P.D. investigating case number 96-000991. I made contact with a black male known as Darrien Wayne Brown. Brown had been brought into the P.D. on other charges and as a suspect in this case.”
Q: Was weapon or instrument used?
Indictment: “committed aggravated rape,” “robbed […] while causing Sybil Twitchell to reasonable believe said defendant was armed with a dangerous weapon.”
The Victim Sybil Twitchell’s Credibility
The woman goes to the hospital for a sexual assault examination. The medical examiners allegedly claim the woman was in this and that condition. Neither doctors nor police took any pictures.
Q: Has patient urinated since assault?
Q: Now Ms. Twitchell do you recollect whether you before she arrived or before any police officers arrived do you know whether you went to the rest room urinated?
A: Yes, sir, I did.
Sybil Twitchell testified that she did not remember anyone jogging by.
DAI’s report of 9/17/96
“As Andrea [Gorsulowsky] passed in front of the victim’s house she spoke to the victim and the black male. The black male looked at Andrea as she passed not more than five feet from the black male.”
Witness Andrea Gorsulowsky
Incident Report (received a call about a theft) of 7/28/96
“Time incident occurred: 06:15 to 06:45”
Investigator Ryan Nelson’s report of 7/28/96
“The rape and robbery took place at 501 Spruce Street in Vivian between 06:00 and 07:00 this morning.”
DAI’s Report of 9/17/96
Jogger Gorsulowsky “left her house around 6:40 A.M. on 7-28-96”
“Andrea reached the victim’s house around 07:00 hrs”
“Andrea got home around 0715 hrs.”
Andrea Gorsulowsky claims she saw Brown helping the victim pick up some grass clippings. She said it appeared rather it sounded as if they were having a friendly conversation. Gorsulowsky testified that her and the victim belonged to the same church. The victim testified that she did not remember anyone jogging by. Gorsulowsky testified that the victim’s house was not on her regular route and she never went jogging on a Sunday before.
Question: Why would she just happen to be jogging there on a Sunday this day?
Dewailia Hill’s Credibility
Dewailia Hill is Investigator Ryan Nelson’s cousin. She pled guilty to fighting with some people at Redbud Courts. She was convicted of second degree battery. At the time of Brown’s trial, Hill had two months left on probation. Hill continues to be in trouble. (See the external links of her most recent arrest in Caddo Parish on the left!)
Hill testified that she had known Darrien Brown for three years, since she had moved to Vivian. Brown, however, was in jail/ prison until January 1996. And in the dispatcher’s log of 7/28/96 (06:12 hrs), the name of the person harassing her was some “Darly Wayne Carroll” without the info of his address.
Darrien Brown says, “When officer Louis Florence came to my mom’s home, he asked me, if I knew Dewailia Hill. I stated that I knew of her and vice versa.”
Louis Florence’s field notes of 7/28/96:
“05:30 Sunday morning a vehicle came down the road and stopped and Brown got out car. He walked to where she was at. Brown followed her about 10 ft behind her and followed her home. She went in the house and he was walking back and forth on the front porch. She told him again to leave. He said”
Question: What made Officer Florence write Darrien Brown’s name in his field notes at 6:20 A.M. on 7/28/96?
Hill advised Florence that she did not want “to file any charges at that time.” One and a half hours later, Florence interviewed the initial theft victim Sybil Twitchell, and suddenly the theft case turned into a rape case. Florence recalled Hills’ description of Brown’s clothes, which allegedly matched Twitchell’s description of her attacker, too. The police took two pictures of Darrien Brown wearing a striped shirt and showed them to the victim Sybil Twitchell and the jogger Andrea Gorsulowsky. There has never been another suspect.
Darrien Brown resisting arrest
Brown says: “When officer Florence asked me to sit in the back of his patrol car, I did not say. “Fuck you, I’m gone.” Instead, I asked was I under arrest. He said no. When I turned to go back in the house, Florence then yelled, “You are under arrest.” At this time I started running, because I was scared and confused. Officer Florence twisted things to make me look guilty.”
Officer Louis Florence’s and Investigator Ryan Nelson’s reports contradict each other
Louis Florence (report of 7/28/96):
“During this time [victim describing the rapist at her home] Chief Sherman Morgan and Investigator Ryan Nelson and Officer Vernon Roberts arrived at the scene.”
D.A. Office’s Report of 9/20/96:
“Nelson said he has never actually contacted and talked to the complainant as she had been taken to the hospital when he arrived on the scene on 7-28-96.”
Crime Scene Investigation
D.A. Office’s Report of 9/20/96:
“Nelson attempted to conduct a scene investigation but due to unauthorized people in the crime scene, he was unable to obtain any fingerprints and the scene photographs he took did not develop due to camera failure.”
Question: How can the house be full of people (that early in the morning of a Sunday) when the complaint report sheet shows the police arrived five minutes after receiving the call from the victim?
Officer Florence’s report of 7/28/96:
“Investigator Nelson took photographs and fingerprints at the scene.”
Chief Sherman Morgan relieved Investigator Ryan Nelson of his duties
D.A. Office’s Report of 9/20/96
“After a suspect was arrested, Nelson said Chief Sherman Morgan relieved him of his duties in connection with this case, because the complainant did not want a black officer investigating the case since a black man had assaulted her.”
Questions: Why was not a female officer assisting in the rape case? Why was Nelson really relieved?
“When Nelson was advised the complaint involved a rape, Nelson contacted C.P.S.O. [Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office] and requested assistance from their investigative unit.”
“Chief Morgan told Nelson that their department would conduct the investigation and that C.P.S.O.’s investigator would not be needed.”
Question: Since C.P.S.D. is more experienced in handling rape cases than Vivian Police, why did not Chief Morgan want the Caddo Parish Sheriff Office’s assistance?
If Nelson actually had been relieved of his duties by Chief Morgan, why did DAI Ashley contact Nelson on 9/19/96 and requested his assistance “in locating and interviewing the remaining witnesses in this matter”?
Potential Witnesses (not interviewed/ subpoenaed)
from D.A. Office to Vivian Police Department (9/20/96):
“On 9-19-96, DAI Ashley contacted Officer Ryan Nelson and requested he assist in locating and interviewing the remaining witnesses in this matter.”
Yet, there are no further reports in the record. Potential witnesses are:
- Victim Twitchell’s friend Mrs. Halford, whom Twitchell allegedly called directly after the incident. Afterwards a woman called 911, the police station, and reported a “theft.” However, upon arrival the police learned that the woman was raped and robbed. The 911 call has never been revealed.
- All the people (neighbors, family, friends), who allegedly were at the crime scene when Ryan Nelson arrived and began to dust the place for fingerprints. Why are their names not in the record?
- Curtis Viscardis (Gorsulowsky stated he had said he may have seen the suspect after the assault had occurred.)
- Laverne Carroll (Darrien Brown’s aunt. He was at her son’s birthday party the night before he went to the club.)
- Jimmy Carroll (Woody Edwards’ cousin)
- Jeanette Sanders (Darrien Brown’s aunt)
- JoAnn Martin and
- Wanda Williams (Both witnessed when Darrien Brown was where and with whom Saturday night (7/27/96)
Tampering with DNA Evidence
Assistant District Attorney Stan Lockhart built his case from an alleged stain found in the crotch of a pair of panties. The stain was said to be so large, the North Louisiana crime lab expert had to change the entire methology of the DNA test from the company’s procedure. The entire DNA was botched, causing the crime lab expert Dawn Tingle to alter the amount used as they saw fit. That was the only way they could link Darrien Brown to the alleged crime.
On September 25, 1996, the crime lab collected saliva, blood, head and pubic hairs from Brown. A complete DNA. Subsequently, on October 25, 1996, additional semen samples were also taken from him. These samples have gone unaccounted for. The samples have never been presented at trial nor in pretrial proceedings.
The crime lab expert stated that the reason for requesting the semen was, since there was no DNA found present on the vagina swab, she wanted to see, if Brown’s spermatozoa was low, or check to see, if he had a vasectomy. During cross examination, Tingle stated Brown’s spermatozoa was fairly high. Then she testified that everything inside the victim had drained to the panties. That is their justification for the stain.
Question 1: But, what happened to the semen samples? The expert admitted that this was her first time she had requested semen samples in a rape case.
Question 2: Since everything within the victim drained to the panties, why did not the crime lab test the pubic hairs of the victim? (See Hearing Transcripts, page 51)
Brown’s comment: I am arrested for rape. I submit a complete DNA saliva, blood, head and pubic hair. The hearing transcripts state it is customary to use reference blood in DNA typing. If that is the case, why did the crime lab not use my blood to test against the stain allegedly found in the crotch of the panties? Instead they requested my semen to plant in the panties. Remember, the semen were requested before looking at the panties! See the trial transcripts to confirm.
Summary regarding the DNA evidence
- There was no crime scene investigation or pictures, or fingerprints
See Police Report.
- The semen samples whereabouts is unaccounted for.
- The doctor’s report changed of victim’s clothes being available.
See Trial Transcripts, page 177 and compare with Sexual Assault History Report v. Victim’s Testimony
- The search warrant for semen sample is not properly completed on the back of the page.
- The semen were not listed in the final report as evidence received.
- Test results of semen do not reflect in the report.
See Hearing Transcripts, page 32.
- It was the expert’s first request for DNA semen sample in a rape case.
See Hearing Transcripts, page 31.
- The crime lab changed the entire methodology of the DNA.
See page 38, 40, 41 and 42 of the Hearing Transcripts.
How you can help
Share this article and visit the IIPPI Forum for updates!
Donations can be made via JPay.com directly into Darrien Brown’s inmate account. See the detailed information on the website of the Louisiana Department of Public Safety and Corrections at http://doc.louisiana.gov/communicate-with-offenderssend-money
Darrien Brown needs a private investigator, a defense attorney for DNA testing, a forensic DNA expert, and supporters.
One of the priorities is the examination of the crotch of the victim’s panties to confirm whether or not Darrien Brown’s semen samples were planted.
Vivian Police Department: Dispatchers Log (pdf, 2 pages)
Date: July 28, 1996
Operator Sandra Jordan
(0612 hrs): Dewailia Hill, 669 Red Bud Court, complains about some “Darly Wayne Carroll” harissing her, blue and white shirt, blue jean shorts
(0615 hrs): Unit No. VP10 is dispatched to 669 Red Bud Court
(0620 hrs): Unit No. VP10 (Louis Florence) arrives at 669 Red Bud Court
Operator Jan Nix
(0655 hrs): shift begins
(0740 hrs): Sybil Twitchell complains about a theft on 501 South Spruce St.
(0744 hrs): Unit No. VP10 (Louis Florence) dispatched to 501 South Spruce St.
(0750 hrs): Unit VP9 (Ryan Nelson) “Investigator needs to be at 501 South Spruce – soon as possible – left message on answering machine”
(0755 hrs): Chief Morgan – deliver message, he will respond
(0800 hrs): Unit VP10 (Louis Florence): black male 6’0, short hair, medium dark, striped T-shirt, blue pants, suspect trying to sell insurance
(0814 hrs): Officer Vernon Roberts to take subject to L.S.U.
(0815 hrs): Unit I (Chief Morgan) made contact with Officer Ryan Nelson
(0835 hrs): Unit VP9 (Officer Ryan Nelson)
Complaint received by Janet Nix and Incident Report (Received Call About A Theft) (pdf, 3 pages)
Time incident occurred: 06:15 to 06:45
Time reported: 07:40
Officer dispatched: Louis Florence
assisted by: Sherman Morgan
Investigator: Ryan Nelson
Arrest Reports by Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office and the Vivian Police Department + Miranda Rights (pdf, 4 pages)
Darrien Brown was arrested for aggravated rape and first degree robbery at 9:50 A.M. on 7/28/96.
Photo Line-up (Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office) (1 page)
According to Investigator Ryan Nelson’s statement to Investigator Don Ashley of the Caddo Parish Attorney’s Office, “the photo display used in this case was a photo display that had been made by the C.P.S.O. several years ago. The photo display was filed in the Vivian Police record file maintained on the defendant.”
Police Reports (pdf, 4 pages)
Incident Supplemental Report
Received call about a theft
reported by Louis Florence (part I, 2 pages)
reported by Ryan Nelson (part II, 2 pages)
on July 28, 1996
Sexual Assault History Report v. Victim’s Testimony (pdf, 2 pages)
Dr. Fred Kinder performed the rape kit.
Preliminary Examination (pdf, 28 pages)
August 27, 1996
Testimony by Officer Ryan Nelson of the Vivian Police Department
State: “The charge at this time is aggravated rape.”
Bill of Information (pdf, 1 page)
filed September 6, 1996
Charge Count 1: forcible rape
Interviews of Witnesses (pdf, 9 pages)
Caddo Parish District Attorney’s Office: Investigative Reports
reported by DAI Don Ashley
on September 17, 1996
witness interviewed: Andrea Gorsulowsky
September 17, 1996 (1020 hrs)
witnessed by Inv. G. Hall
Fact Summary: Gorsulowsky saw the suspect at the victim’s house prior to the assault taking place (2 pages)
reported by DAI Don Ashley
on September 18, 1996
witness interviewed: Police Officer Louis Florence
September 17, 1996 (1120 hrs)
witnessed by Inv. G. Hall
Fact Summary: Responding officer to report of sexual assault on July 28, 1996 (2 pages)
Enclosure: Officer Louis Florence’s field notes (2 pages)
Brown’s comment: “Officer Florence twisted my aunt Jeanette Sanders’ words. When I got out of jail, prior to the aggravated rape and robbery, my family would come to take me where I needed to go. They made me promise to call different times to make sure I was home safe. They claimed my aunt told them I called looking for my cousin Tomika and that her caller I.D. indicated I was calling from somewhere other than my mom’s home, because she knew my mom’s phone number. Actually, my aunt told them she knew I called from home, because her called I.D. indicated that. She was also subponaed but was never brought into court to testify.”
reported by DAI Don Ashley
on September 20, 1996
witness interviewed: Police Officer Ryan Nelson
on September 17, 1996 (September 17, 1996 (1200 hrs)
Fact Summary: Case investigator assigned to this case (2 pages)
reported by DAI Don Ashley
on September 20, 1996
Fact Summary: Victim was sexually assaulted and robbed at her residence
Synopsis: ADA Stan Lockard contacted DAI Don Ashley and requested assistance in conducting a follow-up investigation
On September 17, 1996, Inv. G. Hall and Ashley went to Vivian and contacted and interviewed Andrea Gorsulowsky, Officer Louis Florence and Officer Ryan Nelson. (1 page)
Search Warrant (for Darrien Brown’s blood, saliva, head and body hair) (pdf, 1 page)
September 24, 1996
requested by investigator Ryan Nelson (Vivian Police Department)
Evidence Transfer Receipt (pdf, 1 page)
North Louisiana Criminalistics Laboratory
September 25, 1996 (10:40)
Agency: Vivian Police Department, delivered by Deputy W. …
Return Search Warrant (pdf, 1 page)
September 25, 1996
DNA/ blood and swabs collected by Dawn Tingle, head and pubic hair collected by Bruce Stinze
Interview of Witnesses (pdf, 2 pages)
reported by DAI Don Ashley
on October 2, 1996
witness interviewed: Woody Edwards and Charlene Edwards
October 1, 1996 (1340 hrs and 1400 hrs)
witnessed by DAI McKinley
Fact Summary: Defendant’s relatives who saw the defendant the night before the rape (2 pages)
Brown’s comment: My aunt Charlene Edwards and her husband were questioned, because they lived not far from the victim. If I had been at my aunt’s home, it would have placed me not far from the victim. My aunt was subponaed but never called into court to testify.
Response to Motion of Discovery, Bill of Particulars and Notice under Code of Criminal Procedure Article “768” (pdf, 2 pages)
by Assistant District Attorney W. Stanley Lockard
on October 22, 1996
Note: The medical record was missing and the semen sample had not been collected yet.
Indictment/ True Bill (pdf, 2 pages)
filed October 23, 1996
Charge Count 1: aggravated rape
Search Warrant (for Darrien Brown’s semen) (pdf, 2 pages)
October 24, 1996
requested by investigator Don Ashley (Caddo District Attorney’s Office)
Note: It was not completed on the back. No Return Search Warrant and Evidence Transfer Receipt exist, and the semen samples whereabouts is unaccounted for! According to Brown, Investigator Ashley left the parish jail with two tubes of his semen.
Hearing of July 7, 1997 (pdf, 57 pages)
North Louisiana Crime Lab
DNA expert Dawn Tingle’s Testimony
Brown’s comment: “The Hearing Transcripts state the expert only requested one semen sample ever. That one was requested in my case to secure a conviction.
The test results from my semen proved my sperm count was “fairly high.” The Hearing Transcripts also that state the requested semen sample test results do not reflect “anywhere” in the report.”
July 9, 1997
Index and Morning Session without jury present (pdf, 11 pages)
Investigator Ryan Nelson’s Testimony (Part I, pdf, 13 pages)
He was the only African American police officer working the case. Chief Sherman Morgan relieved him of his duties after Brown had been arrested, “because the complainant did not want a black officer investigating the case since a black man had assaulted her.”
According to the Interview of Witnesses, Nelson says he has never actually contacted and talked to the victim as she had been taken to the hospital when he arrived on the scene on July 28, 1996.
“When Nelson was advised the complaint involved a rape, Nelson contacted the Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office and requested assistance from their investigative unit.”
“Shortly after that happened, Chief Morgan told Nelson that their [police] department would conduct the investigation and that C.P.S.O.’s investigator would not be needed.”
“Nelson attempted to conduct a scene investigation, but due to unauthorized people in the crime scene, he was unable to obtain any fingerprints and scene photographs he took did not develop due to camera failure.”
Sybil Twitchell’s (victim) Testimony (Part I, 43 pages)
She does not know the age of her own son, but she is supposed to tell the truth concerning the alleged rape.
Dewailia Hill’s Testimony (witness) (pdf, 21 pages)
Dewailia Hill is officer Nelson’s cousin. She was on probation on July 28, 1996 and at the time of this testimony. She had been subpoenaed personally by Don Ashley but she did not appear on time.
Andrea Gorsulowsky’s Testimony (witness) (pdf, 16 pages)
Note: Gorsulowsky made her identification of the suspect that day in question at her house after officers Chief Sherman Morgan, investigator Ryan Nelson and David Wright had shown her a single photo of Darrien Brown, whom they had arrested that morning. See the police report (page 4 of 9). This practice is suggestive, manipulative and deemed highly unreliable nowadays. See “Mistaken Eyewitness Identification,” one of the key factors of wrongful convictions.
Dr. Frederick John Kinder’s Testimony (medical doctor/ gynaecologist) (pdf, 15 pages)
At the time of the rape kit in this case, Dr. Fred Kinder Jr. had his degree in medicine for one year and he was in his second year (of four years) of residency in OB-GYN (obstetrics and gynecology) at LSU Medical Center. This rape kit may have been the second or third one he collected. Kinder had never been qualified as an expert witness in OB-GYN work before.
Dawn Tingle’s Testmony (Crime Lab Expert) (pdf, 68 pages)
Darrien Brown’s comment: “The Trial Transcripts state that the expert had already done DNA twice on vaginal swabs and got no results. So she requested a semen sample to see, if I had had a vasectomy or a low sperm count that would be causing her not to get any kind of results.
The transcripts also state that items 1-10 results are listed in the crime lab report. But the secretary did not type up item number eleven (semen sample) on the final report as a listed item of evidence received.”
Sybil Twitchell’s Testimony (Part II, 1 page)
The alleged victim identifies Darrien Brown in court.
The trial jurors were:
Foreman Sam A. Gilliam, David Spears, James Willis, Garland Freeman, Douglas Miller, Jackie Alderman, Leonard Williams, Karen Ivy, Delores Davenport, James Metoyer, Mary Candelor.
Examples of improper testimony – also by an expert for the North Louisiana Crime Lab
(Victim) Sybil Self Twitchell’s Obituary
August 15, 1925 – October 4, 2011
Witness Andrea Gorsulowsky is the Office Manager of the family owned Gorsulowsky Funeral Home of Vivian (also see Sybil S. Twitchell’s obituary)
Court of Appeal of Louisiana,Second Circuit
State of Louisiana, Appellee, v. Darrien Brown, Appellant
Conviction affirmed. Decided: September 23, 1998
Before HIGHTOWER, BROWN and STEWART, JJ.
Pamela G. Smart, Assistant Indigent Defender, for Appellant.
Richard Ieyoub, Attorney General, Paul Carmouche, District Attorney, Catherine M. Estopinal, Assistant District Attorney, for Appellee.
Paul Joseph Carmouche was elected District Attorney of Caddo Parish from 1978 through 2009. He served five (5) terms. At the time, when Darrien Brown was indicted for aggravated rape and first degree robbery in fall of 1996, Carmouche was running for reelection and won. His practice now is criminal defense (DWI/ DUI, drug felony, misdemeanors and white collar crime) in State, Federal and City Courts in Louisiana.
Ryan Nelson has been Chief of Police in Vivian, Louisiana, since January 1, 2011.
Vivian Police Department’s Facebook page
According to The Louisiana Sun, Dewailia Hill – witness for the state – was detained on July 23, 2015, in Caddo Parish and charged with theft and extortion. Also see http://louisiana.arrests.org/Arrests/Dewailia_Hill_23591444/ and http://mugshots.com/US-Counties/Louisiana/Caddo-Parish-LA/Dewailia-Shonnelle-Hill.110040075.html
Caddo Parish Sheriff’s Office, Inmate Search