by Shaun Knittel -
SGN Associate Editorhttp://www.sgn.org/sgnnews42_34/index.cfm
Ali Muhammad Brown, the convicted sex offender charged with killing two Gay men in Seattle's Leschi neighborhood on June 1, has admitted to fatally shooting a Skyway man about one month earlier and slaying a West Orange, New Jersey college student, according to King County court filings made public on Wednesday.
Brown, 29, told investigators he killed the four men as part of a plot to gain revenge against the U.S. for military actions in the Middle East.
On July 21, John K. Pavlovich, detective with the King County Sheriff's Office, and Cloyd Steiger, a Seattle Police Homicide Detective, conducted an audio recorded interview with Brown at the Essex County Detention Center in New Jersey where Brown was in custody on charges stemming from a West Orange robbery on June 25 and the Seattle murders from June 1. At that time, Det. Steiger was investigating the double homicide murder of Ahmed Said, 27, and Dwone Anderson-Young, 27, and Det. Pavlovich had been investigating the April 27 Skyway murder of Leroy Henderson, 30.
Court documents say spent cartridge casings stamped 'F C 9mm Luger' link Brown to each of the four murders. At the time of the July 21 interview by detectives Pavlovich and Steiger, a motive had not yet been established, nor had Brown yet confessed to the killings.
During the July 21 recorded interview Det. Pavlovich says Brown, 'stated that he strictly followed the Muslim faith and as part of his beliefs, he had become angry with 'evil' that the government was allowing to take place in the United States, and was also angry with the role the United States government was taking in the countries of Iraq, Iran and Afghanistan that had led to the death of innocent civilians and children there.'
He also mentioned to the detectives that drug use was an evil act.
According to the court documents, Brown stated that, as part of his beliefs, if a 'man sees evil then he must take action against that evil.'
Then, on July 29, Det. Pavlovich says he learned Brown had confessed on July 25 to Essex County Task Force Det. Sgt. McEnroe and Det. Crawley, to the murder of Brendan Tevlin, 19.
Brendan Tevlin, June 25
Tevlin had reportedly just returned home from his first year of college at the University of Richmond in Virginia when he was found shot to death inside an SUV in the parking lot of an apartment building in West Orange, New Jersey, June 25.
New Jersey authorities say that Brown, Jeremy Villagran, 19, and Eric Williams, 18, had pulled up next to Tevlin at a stoplight. Brown and Villagran got out and one of them briefly spoke with Tevlin before Brown, who was standing at the passenger side, fired 10 shots - eight of which struck Tevlin.
Brown then climbed into Tevlin's car, moving the slain man's body to the passenger seat, and drove to Villagran's apartment, The Associated Press reported.
A 'Just Kill'
Detective Pavlovich says that Brown described Tavlin as a 'just kill' - describing a 'just kill' as a target that was an adult male, and not a woman, child or elderly person nor in the company of any women, children or elderly persons.
According to court documents, during the interview, which was audio-recorded, Brown said he was motivated to murder out of a 'mission of vengeance.'
'My mission is my mission between me and my lord,' said Brown. 'That's it.'
'My mission is vengeance,' he continued, 'for the lives, millions of lives are lost every day. Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, all these places where innocent lives are being taken every single day. All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government.'
'So a life for a life,' Brown is recorded as saying. 'This is why this happened in West Orange.'
Brown was then asked about the 'Seattle and King County' murders, according to the court documents, in which Brown replies, 'Same thing.'
Reading the court documents, which include Det. Pavlovich's official statement regarding the July 25 interview between Brown and the New Jersey detectives it is clear to see that investigators asked Brown several times to clarify that he was, indeed, taking responsibility for the murder of Leroy Henderson.
Brown simply responds, 'Yes, I am.'
When asked to explain what happened that night Brown becomes defiant and says, 'Let them come out here and I'll explain it to them.'
The detectives remind Brown that Pavlovich and Steiger had already spoken to him earlier in the week, on a Monday, Brown once again claims responsibility for killing Henderson - and this time around - for executing Said and Anderson-Young.
In a chilling dismissal of how serious the four murders are, Brown tells detectives the he is 'just doing my small part' to avenge the actions of the United States in the Middle East.
Now that Brown had admitted to the four murders, Det. Pavlovich returned to New Jersey because Brown wanted to eliminate Latoya White, a Tacoma, Washington resident Brown fathered a baby with, from having been present or assisting him during the Henderson murder.
Leroy Henderson, April 27
Leroy Henderson was found lying in the northbound lane of travel nearest to a residence in the 12000 block at 68th Avenue South in an area of unincorporated King County known as 'Skyway' at 11:44 a.m. A resident had called 911 to report hearing the sounds of multiple gunshots being fired. That call was followed by another, this time from a motorist reporting an injured male in the roadway.
According to court documents, several King County Deputies responded and found Henderson bleeding from multiple gunshot wounds. Medics attempted to treat his wounds but were unsuccessful and the man was pronounced dead at the scene by 12:13 a.m., April 28.
Detective Pavlovich was assigned the case and according to his statements to the King County prosecutors, five 9 mm spent cartridge casings were found in the roadway, within a few feet of Henderson's body, all of which were head stamped with 'F C 9mm Luger.'
Later that morning, an autopsy on Henderson was conducted by the King County Medical Examiner's Office revealing that Henderson had sustained ten separate gunshot wounds and a total of six intact or partially deformed 9 mm bullets were recovered from the victim's body.
Detective Pavlovich needed more than just spent bullet casings so he checked video surveillance systems near the area where Henderson had been shot. A home near the murder scene was equipped with a 4-channel video recording system and 4-cameras - two of which were mounted to the front of the home and capture the street (including the sidewalk) and entire roadway in front of the home. The cameras were motion activated and the images that were recorded would ultimately lead officials to Brown.
According to Det. Pavlovich, around the time of the shooting, footage revealed a light colored SUV passing the residence, traveling northbound, with headlights on at a normal rate of speed. Then Henderson is seen walking past the house. He is walking alone, southbound, in the middle of the northbound lane of traffic. The SUV from before, traveling at a lower rate of speed and with its headlights turned off, begins to slow and brake lights appear as it approaches the spot where Henderson was shot.
Good detective work and cooperation between the Seattle Police Department and King County Sheriff's detectives is why Brown was charged with murder while on the run to New Jersey.
After a 'lengthy review' of the surveillance video footage, Det. Pavlovich narrowed the suspect vehicle down to a 2006-2009 Dodge Durango. With an agreement from South King County Auto Theft Emphasis Unit detectives, Pavlovich contacted Sgt. Robert Vallor with the Seattle Police Department on June 9, to ask if there were any recent cases in which a light color Dodge Durango vehicle were associated. The following day, Pavlovich was contacted by Det. Steiger, informing him that two men had been found shot inside of one of the victim's vehicles and spent 9mm cartridge casings head stamped 'F C 9mm Luger' had been recovered at the scene also.
One of the victim's, Ahmed Said's vehicle was processed for evidence and SPD Latent Print examiners recovered a palm print, on the interior of the back seat driver's side window, belonging to Ali Muhammad Brown.
According to court documents, Seattle detectives discovered Brown had been arrested in Siskiyou County California in early April by the California Highway Patrol. At the time, Brown had been driving a Silver '08 Dodge Durango registered to Latoya White - the mother of his baby girl.
Brown was not in custody, however, on either April 27 or June 1, investigators said.
Ahmed Said and Dwone Anderson-Young, June 1
Brown is accused of executing Dwone Anderson-Young and Ahmed Said, two members of Seattle's LGBTQ community, after he lured the two men into meeting him by posing as Gay on the mobile hookup app Grindr, June 1. In what has been described by King County Senior Deputy Prosecutor Wyman Yip as two 'extremely violent, senseless and seemingly unprovoked' murders, Brown shot the two men in the 500 block of 29th Avenue South, just steps away from Anderson-Young's house.
Anderson-Young's mother heard the gunshots, but did not immediately know that her son had been shot a few yards from where she lay in bed.
Detectives say Said was shot multiple times in the face at close range and also in the back, as was Anderson-Young. Brown then drove off in Said's car, which was later found abandoned in South Seattle, leading to police linking Brown to the slayings after they found his fingerprints and three spent 9-mm shell casings inside Said's car.
Latoya White told police that her 9-mm semiautomatic handgun was missing and that Brown had access to the gun.
West Orange, New Jersey
After allegedly killing Henderson, Said and Anderson-Young, Brown took off to West Orange, New Jersey, where officials say Brown is originally from.
Back in Washington, Det. Pavlovich and Det. Johnson served Latoya White with a search warrant for her apartment and Dodge Durango on June 12 and 16 respectively.
According to Pavlovich, Brown had stolen a Smith and Wesson 9mm 'M & P' handgun from White's apartment. She told detectives that both ammunition for the handgun and the original box that the handgun was packaged in were at the apartment, but the gun was not. The additional ammunition for the handgun was in the Dodge Durango.
Detective Pavlovich states in the court documents that he and Det. Johnson recovered two 9mm fired cartridge casings head stamped 'F C 9mm Luger' in the vehicle. A trace on the gun shows that it was purchased by White on April 11 in Lakewood, Washington. She purchased two boxes of 'Federal' brand 9mm ammunition - head stamped 'F C 9mm Luger' - consistent with the cartridge casings recovered from the street where Henderson was killed and from the scene where Said and Anderson-Young were killed.
Days later Det. Pavlovich would learn of the same bullet casings being found where Tevlin was murdered in New Jersey.
Additionally, officials learned that Brown had attempted a robbery and carjacking in the Point Pleasant Beach, New Jersey area on June 29 (where Brown left behind a backpack that contained a fully loaded magazine for an S&W 9mm 'M&P' semi-automatic pistol.
Then, on July 14, Brown committed another robbery in West Orange, New Jersey; and following a positive ID by the victim, Brown was subsequently located and arrested July 18 in possession of the S&W 9mm 'M&P' semi-automatic pistol that had been originally purchased by Latoya White.
During Det. Pavlovich's August 3 recorded-interview with Brown, Brown spontaneously stated, 'I took the gun and the car without her permission. Simple as that. She had nothing to do with it, nothing to do with the car, nothing to do with the gun. I stole the gun from her. Okay.'
King County Prosecutor files additional murder charge
King County prosecutors Wednesday charged Ali Muhammad Brown with first-degree aggravated murder in the April 27 shooting of Leroy Henderson. Brown had already been charged with aggravated murder in the June 1 shooting deaths of Said and Anderson-Young. In addition, Brown has been charged by New Jersey prosecutors for his alleged June 25 murder of Tevlin.
'The investigation in King County and New Jersey reveals that this defendant is responsible for a series of murders, none of which appear to be provoked, and all of which show an extreme level of violence,' King County Prosecutor Dan Satterberg said in a statement.
An aggravated murder conviction in Washington is punishable by death or life without parole.
'The defendant was on a bloody crusade, executing four innocent men ... with the same murder weapon, over the course of approximately two months, and all under the common and single scheme of exacting 'vengeance' against the United States government for its foreign policies,' King County prosecutors said in court documents.
'Ali Muhammad Brown took the lives of three members of our community, and, with these charges, he will face justice,' Seattle Mayor Ed Murray said. Murray was particularly impacted by the double-homicide of Said and Anderson-Young after having met with the families of the victims and helping to organize a candlelight vigil in their honor. 'The charging documents reveal disturbing details about Brown's motive for committing these murders, which appears to have been based on anti-American sentiment and an extreme interpretation of the Muslim faith. While Brown invoked his faith, we must be clear that Brown's views and his actions do not reflect the values of Muslims.'
'In this moment of grief, we, as one community, across all faiths and religions, races and ethnicities, genders and sexual orientations, can and must renew our resolve to stand firm against violence and hatred of all kinds,' Murray said.
Brown, according to his criminal record, was also wanted on warrants for failure to register as a sex offender after pleading guilty in March of 2012 to communicating with a minor for immoral purposes, and was sentenced to a year in jail; in addition, Brown served federal prison time for conspiracy to commit bank fraud in connection with a plot to defraud several banks. In that case, between January 2002 and November 2004, Brown and three other men defrauded U.S. Bank, Bank of America, Key Bank, Washington Mutual, Wells Fargo and Boeing Employees Credit Union by depositing counterfeit and fake checks, then withdrawing funds before the checks were returned, according to charging documents filed in U.S. District Court.
Brown currently remains in-custody - without bail - in Essex County, New Jersey, where he awaits prosecution for the various crimes he committed there. He has yet to appear in court in King County, Washington to be arraigned for the three murder charges filed here.
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