Upstate man given new trial after prosecutors allegedly don’t report deal with witness
GREENWOOD, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - The South Carolina Supreme Court recently announced that an Upstate man’s case will be retried following new information about a deal that prosecutors made with a witness who spoke at the first trial.
In 2013, Corey Brown was convicted of conspiracy to commit grand larceny, armed robbery, and kidnapping for an armed robbery that happened earlier that year.
Officials said on July 26, 2013, the victim was returning home from work when two men approached him, pointed something at him, and ordered him back into his car. There, the men forced the victim to drive and follow another vehicle until one of the men took over the driver’s seat and continued until they stopped with the other vehicle at a Hot Spot gas station in Greenwood County. At the gas station, the victim grabbed one of the suspect’s guns, escaped the car, and ran inside the business, where he called the police.
Brown was among four other suspects charged following the incident. At his trial, one of the other suspects, Antonio Nicholson, said he didn’t know Brown before the incident, the victim couldn’t initially identify him as one of the robbers, and no physical evidence connected Brown to the crime. However, another suspect, Shadarron Evans, said he was a friend of Brown’s and confirmed that he was at the robbery. Evans also testified that prosecutors didn’t make him any promises for his cooperation.
Following the trial Brown’s counsel gained access to jailhouse phone call recordings from Evans, which allegedly showed prosecutors giving him plea offers to Evans. Prosecutors admitted that they didn’t disclose those negotiations, and Brown’s counsel filed a motion for a new trial.
A judge granted Brown a new trial at a post-trial hearing, but a circuit court later overruled the judge’s decision.
The circuit court’s decision remained in place until the South Carolina Supreme Court’s latest decision granted Brown a new trial.
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