Man Gets Death Penalty in Pregnant Wife's Murder-for-Hire

On January 11, 2012, a neighbor noticed a two small children, aged 2 and 4, playing unsupervised in the front yard of a Midwest City home. The neighbor called police, and when responding officers asked the older child where his mother was, he said she was inside sleeping. Inside the home, police found the body of the children's mother. She was pregnant, and she and her unborn child had been murdered.

As the tale of the murder of 23-year-old Jessica Lynn Brown unfolded, it became evident that the woman was killed in a murder-for-hire plot concocted by her estranged husband.

Fabion Demargio Brown, his girlfriend Emily Ann Matheson, Brodic Lontae Glover, and Laquan Ashley have all been convicted for their roles in the young mother's death.

  • Emily Matheson pleaded guilty to two counts of first degree murder and was sentenced to 15 years in prison.
  • Laquan Ashley, the getaway driver, pleaded guilty to being an accessory to murder and was sentenced to 8 years in prison.
  • Brodic Glover, the gunman, pleaded guilty to first degree murder in order to avoid the death penalty and was sentenced to life in prison.

Only one co-conspirator refused to plead guilty and instead took his case to trial. Fabion Brown instead chose to represent himself at trial. He was found guilty last week of being the mastermind behind his estranged wife's murder-for-hire, offering Glover $250 to kill the mother of his children.

After he was convicted, the self-represented Brown asked Oklahoma County District Judge Ray Elliott for a continuance of the penalty phase and asked that he now be represented by attorneys. Judge Elliott denied his request.

Brown's mother testified that the defendant was a victim of abuse, and Brown pointed to his own military service as indication of his good character. He asked the jury "for a sentence less than death."

The jury, however, was unmoved by Brown's plea to spare his life. On Saturday, the jury recommended the death penalty for Fabion Demargio Brown.

Not every act of first degree murder is eligible for the death penalty in Oklahoma; however, the state allows the death penalty if the murder involved one or more of 8 aggravating factors listed in 21 O.S. 701.12:

Aggravating circumstances shall be:
1. The defendant was previously convicted of a felony involving the use or threat of violence to the person;
2. The defendant knowingly created a great risk of death to more than one person;
3. The person committed the murder for remuneration or the promise of remuneration or employed another to commit the murder for remuneration or the promise of remuneration;
4. The murder was especially heinous, atrocious, or cruel;
5. The murder was committed for the purpose of avoiding or preventing a lawful arrest or prosecution;
6. The murder was committed by a person while serving a sentence of imprisonment on conviction of a felony;
7. The existence of a probability that the defendant would commit criminal acts of violence that would constitute a continuing threat to society; or
8. The victim of the murder was a peace officer as defined by Section 99 of this title, or correctional employee of an institution under the control of the Department of Corrections, and such person was killed while in performance of official duty.

Although Brown himself did not pull the trigger and fire the shots that killed his pregnant wife, he did "employ another to commit the murder for remuneration." Therefore, Oklahoma law holds him responsible for the murder.

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