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Four Men Accused in Cab Driver's Murder Plead Not Guilty

By: Tallahassee Police Department , Mike Springer, Julie Montanaro Email
By: Tallahassee Police Department , Mike Springer, Julie Montanaro Email

-- UPDATED June 12, 2012 at 5:40 p.m. --

The men accused of murdering a 29-year-old cab driver had a court hearing this morning.

A Leon County Judge presided over a case management hearing for Nelson Alexander, Deondre Hansford, Derrick Butler and Davin Bowers.

The four men are accused of robbing and shooting cab driver O'Bryan Brandy on October 29th.

They were arrested the next day off of Laura Lee Avenue and charged with the murder.

Deondre Hansford and Davin Bowers were the only two to show up at the court hearing Tuesday.

Judge Charles Dodson scheduled the next hearing for July 24th.

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Three Men Accused in Cab Driver's Murder Plead Not Guilty
December 13, 2011

All of the men accused in the murder of cab driver O'Bryan Brandy were arraigned in court this afternoon. All entered not guilty pleas. The men's next court date is on Valentine's day.

Nelson Alexander, Deondre Hansford, Derrick Butler and Davin Bowers were all arrested on Laura Lee Ave in October and charged with Brandy's murder.

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Friends Set Up Brandy Memorial Fund

UPDATE 11.24.2011 by Mike Springer

Friends are banding together to help the family of O'Bryan Brandy. The Brandy Memorial Fund has been set up to benefit the loved ones Brandy's death leaves behind, his wife and three children.

Those wishing to contribute are asked to visit a Bank of America branch and ask to donate to The O'Bryan Brandy Memorial Fund.

Brandy, yellow cab driver and former FAMU Rattler, was killed in what police are calling a robbery attempt last month.

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UPDATE 11.7.2011 by Mike Springer

According to the Public Defender's Office, all four suspects accused in the shooting death of Yellow Cab Driver O'Bryan Brandy will be arraigned on Dec. 13 at the Leon County Courthouse. All of the suspects, except for Davin Bowers, will be represented by private attorneys. Bowers will be represented by public defender Steven Been.

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UPDATED 11.3.2011 by Julie Montanaro

FAMU's college radio station, WANM, launched a food and clothing drive today to help the family of slain cab driver and former FAMU football player O'Bryan Brandy, as well as the children of the victims in a recent double homicide.

In each case, three young children were left behind.

WANM is hoping to provide a Thanksgiving basket to each family and clothes for the children.

WANM is airing an announcement every hour in hopes that listeners will donate items and bring them to the station in FAMU's School of Journalism.

"We obviously can't bring their parents back," said programming director Jacquell Lawson (known on air as "The Apostle")
"but we can try to uplift their spirits. So we just kinda want to help out and say we're there, we love you and you know, anyway we can be there, we want to try to do that."

Here is the wish list provided by WANM:

For the children of slain cab driver O'Bryan Brandy:

FOR AN 8 YEAR OLD BOY – SIZE 8 OR 10 PANTS, MEDIUM OR LARGE SHIRTS

FOR A 10 MONTH OLD BABY- SIZE 12 MONTHS OR 2T CLOTHES

FOR AN 8 YEAR OLD GIRL - SIZE 10 OR 12 CLOTHES, MEDIUM OR LARGE SHIRTS

For the children of the victims in the double homicide:

FOR AN 8 YEAR OLD GIRL – CLOTHES SIZE 12 OR 14

FOR AN 11 YEAR OLD GIRL – CLOTHES ADULT SIZE 1, SHOE SIZE 5

FOR A 9 YEAR OLD BOY – SIZE 10 PANTS, CHILDREN’S LARGE SIZE SHIRTS AND SIZE 4 SHOES

WANM General Manager Keith Miles says he hopes people will "stop turning against and start turning toward each other."
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UPDATED 11.1.2011 by Mike Springer

News that cab driver O'Bryan Brandy was robbed and shot to death ... is sending shock waves through the cab-driving community.

He is the third Tallahassee cab driver killed on the job in the past 17 years. Raymond Ratliffe was killed in a robbery back in 1994 and Kevin Hopgood was killed on the job in 1999.

The news of O'Bryan Brandy's murder has left a lot of his fellow cab drivers feeling uneasy.

"This is not right. For a little job like this, being killed is too much," says Reza Ziarati.

Police say Brandy, who worked as a driver for the Yellow Cab company, went to Idlewild drive to pickup a customer Saturday morning when he was shot and killed.

Nelson Alexander, Deondre Hansford, Derrick Butler and Davin Bowers were all arrested that same day on Laura Lee Ave and charged with Brandy's murder.

"I was working at the time, like most drivers do and it was just bad news, bad news," says Neils Hesse.

While cab drivers like Reza Ziarati, understand the dangers of the job, Brandy's murder is something he says he still can't comprehend.

"This guy has a wife and kids and he was the only provider for them. And he's gone,' says Ziarati.

Hesse and some of his fellow cab drivers have established the Brandy Memorial Fund to help the family out. He says so far he has collected several hundred dollars which he gave to the family Tuesday.

"We raised some money to take care of his wife and children because he's not here any more," says Hesse.

Brandy is survived by his wife and three kids. His funeral will be Saturday in Columbus Mississippi.

Donations for the Brandy Memorial Fund can be sent to:
The Brandy Memorial Fund
Attention: Neils Hesse
Yellow Cab Company
3149 West Pensacola St.
Tallahassee, FL 32304
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UPDATED 10.31.2011 by Julie Montanaro

Tallahassee Police released arrest affidavits in a murder that claimed the life of former FAMU football player O'Bryan Brandy.

The arrest papers show that officers used phone records to track the accused killers.

New information released in arrest papers today shows that:

- O'Bryan Brandy was shot twice at close range.

- Three of the men arrested in his murder named Deondre Handsford as the triggerman, though police cannot yet confirm that.

- Officers found a 9mm Ruger believed to be the murder weapon buried in the backyard of the Laura Lee home where the men were arrested. They also found clothes burning in the backyard.

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UPDATED 10.31.2011 by Mike Springer

It's all a terrible shock to Brandy's former classmates and teammates at FAMU.

Demitrius Burkes will always remember O'Bryan Brandy's infectious smile.

"He was one that always smiled and I think that smile is going to be missed," says Burkes.

Police say, Brandy who worked as a cab driver and was shot and killed Saturday morning when he went to pick up a customer on Idlewild Drive. It's the city's 13th homicide of the year.

On the field,teammates describe Brandy as a hard worker with NFL potential. Off it, he was known for his good heart and helping hand.

"He would go out of his way to help any individuals on the field, but outside of the field he was more reserved, but if you needed something, he would help you," says athletic trainer Portia Williams.

The news of Brandy's passing hit teammates like Albert Williams particularly hard.

"It hit me in my heart. I thought about it all night Saturday night when I heard about it," says Williams.

Nelson Alexander, Davin Bowers, Derrick Butler and Deondre Hansford were arrested and face murder and robbery charges in connection with the crime. On Facebook, a man claiming to be Bowers posted "Give me a tear. Did you see his brain pop?" Tear drop tattoos are to recognize that you've killed someone.

"All I can do is pray for that individual and hope he realized he took a great person's life," says Williams.

Williams says Brandy talked about changing paths and trading in a job with the cab company for a career with Fish and Wildlife. He says he'll always remember his friend as a hard-working family man and a Rattler for life.

Around 7 p.m. tonight, Brandy;'s former teammates will meet at the field house then head over to Woodville to pay respects to his wife and kids.

Brandy's funeral is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Saturday in Columbus, Mississippi.
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Tallahassee, FL -- October 31, 2011

The probable cause has been released. To view, click on the PDF link above.

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Tallahassee, FL -- October 30, 2011

Updated 8:40 PM

Four men are in custody after police say they shot and killed a cab driver early Saturday morning on Idlewild Drive.

Residents say while the neighborhood has its problems, they would not expect a shooting to happen there.

Izzy Lynn has lived in the Idlewild neighborhood for several months and is shaken by the news of Saturday's murder.

"We didn't really expect that around here because it's pretty quiet most of the time," says Lynn.

Police say around 2 a.m. 29 year old O'Bryan Brandy, a cab driver went into the area of 1015 Idlewild drive to pickup a customer. That's when police say Brandy was shot and killed.

Police arrested Nelson Alexander, Davin Bowers, Derrick Butler and Deondre Hansford Saturday afternoon on Laura Lee Avenue in connection with the crime.

Police are not saying which of the four men shot Brandy, who had spent the past few years working as a driver for the Yellow Cab company. Brandy was also a former football player for the FAMU Rattlers where he made a lasting impression on his teammates.

"Had a really heavy heart when I first heard, my heart is still heavy and my heart goes out to his family," says former teammate Ben Dougherty.

Others like teammate Demetrius Burkes remember Brandy's good heart and infectious smile.

"He would illuminate the lockerroom with his personality, his charisma and his jokes and smile he was one that always smiled and I think that smile is going to be missed," says Burkes

Funeral arraignments for Brandy have not been finalized. The university has not announced any official plans to honor him at this time.

All four suspects are facing murder and robbery charges. They are being held at the Leon County Jail.
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Tallahassee, FL -- October 30, 2011
Updated 3:30 PM

Nelson T. Alexander is charged with homicide, willful kill, and premeditated murder with no bond, and robbery with a firearm with a $100,000 bond.

Davin C. Bowers is charged with homicide, willful kill, and premeditated murder with no bond, robbery with a firearm with a $100,000 bond, and evidence destroying with a $10,000 bond.

Derrick T. Butler is charged with homicide, willful kill, and premeditated murder with no bond, and robbery with a firearm with a $100,000 bond.

Deondre S. Hansford is charged with homicide, willful kill, and premeditated murder with no bond, robbery with a firearm with a $100,00 bond, and possession of a weapon by a convicted felon with a $25,000 bond.
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Tallahassee, FL -- October 30, 2011
Updated 12:35PM

RELEASE FROM FLORIDA A&M UNIVERSITY:

The Florida A&M University Athletic Family was saddened by the passing of former Rattler Gridder O’Bryan Brandy, who was found dead in an abandoned car at 2 a.m. Saturday morning on Idlewild Drive.

Brandy, a junior college transfer from East Mississippi Junior College, was a linebacker for the Rattlers for two seasons (2004-05), his first season (2004) under coach Billy Joe, and his final season (2005) under coach Rubin Carter.

In 2005, Brandy led the Rattlers in tackles with 85 (45 UA, 40 A), 14.5 tackles for loss, six sacks, one interception, two pass break ups and two forced fumbles.

That season, he garnered a season high 12 tackles against Norfolk State (10-22-05) and tallied 10 tackles against Tennessee State(9-24-05) and North Carolina A&T (11-5-05).

Brandy, a Macon, Miss., native finished his career at FAMU with 145 career tackles (79 UA, 66A), 17.5 tackles for loss, six sack, four pass breakups and two forced fumbles.
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Tallahassee, FL -- October 29, 2011
Updated 8:26 PM

Early this morning at approximately 1:58 AM, the Tallahassee Police Department responded to 1015 Idlewild Drive in reference to a suspicious vehicle. The preliminary investigation revealed the driver of a Yellow Cab taxi had been dispatched to 1015 Idlewild Drive for a potential paying customer. When officers arrived, it was discovered the driver had been shot and succumbed to his injuries on scene. Foul play was suspected and the investigation was classified as a homicide.

Throughout the day, investigators from the Violent Crimes Unit interviewed witnesses and collected evidence. Evidence was developed to show cause for the homicide to be the direct result of a conspiracy to commit an armed robbery by multiple perpetrators. A subsequent investigation led investigators to 508 Laura Lee Avenue where four suspects were taken into custody. The following four suspects were arrested and taken to the Leon County Jail; Derrick T. Butler, Davin C. Bowers, Nelson T. Alexander, Deondre S. Hansford.
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Tallahassee, FL - October 29, 2011
Updated 2:50 PM

The victim in the suspicious death investigation has been identified as 29-year-old O'Bryan Lashan Brandy.

Multiple witnesses report having seen the vehicle and have identified it as a taxi. One witness was reportedly told by an officer, "Someone was murdered. He was shot in the head." None of the witnesses WCTV spoke with could recall hearing any gunshots.

TPD is still investigating the case and could not comment on the details.
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Tallahassee, FL - October 29, 2011

The victim in the suspicious death investigation has been identified as 29-year-old O'Bryan Lashan Brandy.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to contact the Tallahassee Police Department at (850) 891 - 4200 or Crime Stoppers at (850) 574 - TIPS (8477). Remember, Crime Stoppers does not want your name, just your information. You could be eligible for a cash reward.
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Tallahassee, FL - October 28, 2011

Tallahassee Police are investigating the circumstances surrounding a body that was found inside of a vehicle on Idlewild Drive early Saturday morning.

TPD says it responded to a call about a suspicious vehicle around 2 a.m. in the area of 1015 Idlewild Drive. Police say a body was found inside of the vehicle and foul play is suspected.

Police have not identified the body or released any details on the circumstances surrounding the death. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at (850) 574 - TIPS (8477).


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