A basic knowledge of modern technology might have helped a parolee avoid first-degree murder charges, a Sedgwick County jury was told on Tuesday.
Milo Brown, 22, apparently wasn’t aware that the ankle bracelet he was required to wear after his release from the Ellsworth Correctional Facility could pinpoint his location – specifically that he was at the scene of a Jan. 2 homicide near 17th and Oliver.
In his opening statement, Assistant District Attorney Trinity Muth also suggested that Brown apparently didn’t realize that the call he made that night and the text messages he sent to the victim could be traced to a cellphone he had borrowed from his mother.
When detectives knocked on Brown’s door on Jan. 3 to ask about the shooting death of Shawn Rhone, Brown at first claimed that he’d spent the entire previous evening at home, Muth said. When his story didn’t add up, the jury was told, he was charged along with two of his brothers with first-degree murder.
Wichita police said Rhone was lured to the 1700 block of Northeast Parkway as part of a marijuana deal and was shot twice during an attempted robbery. Rhone then drove a short distance to a QuikTrip at 13th and Oliver before falling out of his car and collapsing on the pavement.
Muth said that on the night of the shooting, someone used Brown’s mother’s phone to call Rhone and ask that he deliver some marijuana to an address on Northeast Parkway. Muth said that as Rhone was driving to the area, his phone received text messages directing him to a specific house at 1757 Northeast Parkway.
Once Rhone got to the scene, Muth said, Brown got into his car and shot him in the abdomen. Muth said an accomplice standing outside the car fired another shot that struck Rhone in the shoulder. After driving to QuikTrip, Rhone was taken to Wesley Medical Center where he later died.
The cellphone was in a charger in Brown’s room when detectives arrived, Muth said.
Brown is standing trial this week for first-degree felony murder, aggravated burglary and attempted aggravated robbery. His brothers, Shawn M. Brown, 20, and Jerone H. Brown, 19, are facing similar charges.
Shawn and Jerone Brown also are charged with first-degree murder in a separate case in the death of Adji Tampone, who was found shot to death in his home in the 700 block of South Rutan early on the morning of Jan. 3. He had been shot once in the head. Police have not said how or whether the two cases are connected.
Two of the Browns were released from prison less than a month before the killings. Milo Brown was paroled on Dec. 11 after serving time for possession of drugs and criminal possession of a firearm. Jerone Brown was released on parole on Dec. 19 after serving time for burglary and theft.
Milo Brown’s trial is being held in the courtroom of District Judge Ben Burgess.