Accused Murderer Takes Stand in Own Defense

James "Roscoe" Brown admits the pair was arguing over some missing marijuana, but he denies pulling the trigger on purpose.

Brown testified in his own defense, admitting he and victim Carlos Chaires were driving down Adams Street in his van that day last July, but he denied intentionally shooting Chaires and pushing his body out into traffic.

James Brown, accused of murder, says, "The weapon was down in my hand like this on the speaker that I have inside my vehicle. He hit the weapon and he jumped out. The weapon went off when he hit it and he jumped out of the van."

Prosecutors quickly started trying to poke holes in his story, incredulous at Brown's suggestion that he was loaning Chaires the gun and showing him how to use it when things went awry.

Neill Wade, prosecutor, says, "You've got the weapon in your hand and it's pointed at him, right?"

"No."

"Then how does it hit him when it goes off?"

Brown did admit during questioning that he gave Chaires some marijuana to sell, and Chaires claimed to have been robbed of it. He testified Chaires was worried about a south Florida drug supplier coming to collect, but James Brown denied that he was really he who was, the deadly enforcer.

James "Roscoe" Brown says, "The kind of people that was involved, it wasn't that serious to have to shoot somebody or anything like that. The situation would've been the end of a friendship."

“Oh, so these are friendly drug dealers, they won't hurt you when you don't pay up?"

By afternoon, both the prosecution and defense had wrapped up their cases. The jury has been sent home for the day and is expected to begin deliberating Wednesday morning.


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