Widow of slain Atlanta-area sheriff may seek his job

Matt D. mattd at SPAMtfn.net
Mon Jan 8 16:01:49 MST 2001


January 7, 2001
Web posted at: 6:01 p.m. EST (2301 GMT)
>From CNN Correspondent Art Harris

ATLANTA, Georgia (CNN) -- The widow of a sheriff-elect who was shot dead
last month in his driveway may run for the same office.

"I'm considering, I'm considering," Phyllis Brown told CNN.

DeKalb County Sheriff-elect Derwin Brown was gunned down December 15, three
days before he was to have been sworn in as the sheriff of the sprawling
county of 600,000 people. His wife and five children were inside the house.

Brown, 46, had vowed to clean up the DeKalb County Sheriff's Department,
which had been tarnished by a reputation of corruption and scandal.

"We would call it a hit," said District Attorney J. Tom Morgan about the 11
shots from a 9 mm semiautomatic that hit Brown. "Until I saw the body and
realized how many times he'd been shot was when I realized this was someone
who was a professional and wanted Derwin dead very badly."

Mrs. Brown, who is under police protection, said her five children are
opposed to her possible candidacy. "They don't want to lose another parent,"
she said.

Robert Brown, 18, said he saw his father walking down the driveway with a
smile on his face. He then heard gunshots followed by his mother screaming.

"She was hysterical. She was like, you know, 'They got my baby, they got my
baby.' I was like, 'Mom, what are you talking about? Be quiet.'"

Then Robert saw his father's body sprawled on the driveway in the rain.

"I just started screaming his name, 'Pops, Pops,' and I just looked to the
side and I saw him there, so I just crawled out on my hands and knees and I
checked his pulse and I cried, 'There ain't no pulse, there ain't no pulse.'
So I tried to administer CPR, but I knew he was gone, because his eyes were,
like, dilated, I guess. You know, they were just wide open, just looking up,
so I just knew he was gone."

Law enforcement sources said the shooter fired at least 16 times.

CNN has learned that a witness told police she saw one man running from the
scene, and another in a getaway car.

Mrs. Brown said she wonders what her husband would want her to do.

An interim sheriff was sworn in last week.

A joint local, state and federal task force is investigating the shooting.

Brown had notified several employees he was planning to lay them off and
said he would sever the county's contracts with several contractors
servicing the jail, which has a $50 million budget.

Investigators are also checking released prisoners whom Brown had played a
role in convicting when he served with the DeKalb County Police Department.






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