Brown jailed for murder solicitation
Published 11:56 am Wednesday, July 11, 2018
A Victoria man has been sentenced to 15 years in prison for soliciting a man visiting from New York to murder his estranged wife’s boyfriend.
Dwayne Matthew Brown, 48, of 1619 Twelfth St., was recently sentenced by the Lunenburg County Circuit Court, a release from the Lunenburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Office cited.
“Brown pled guilty to solicitation of murder and possession of a firearm by aconvicted felon,” the release cited. “In addition to the 15 years to serve, Brown will have an additional 30 years suspended upon numerous conditions including good behavior for 55 years, no contact with certain individuals, indefinite supervised probation, counseling, and warrantless searches.” According to Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Clement, the incident occurred on Jan. 28 in Brown’s home in Victoria.
Nickoles Rodriguez, Jr., a 20-year-old Brooklyn, New York resident, moved to Victoria in 2017 to raise his son in a safer environment. He befriended Dwayne Brown and other persons associated with Brown, the release cited. Rodriguez went to police in January and reported that beginning in November 2017, Dwayne Brown approached Rodriguez with a plot to kill Michael Blowers, a 40-year-old man from the Kenbridge area who was dating Brown’s estranged wife.
“Rodriguez said Brown wanted Rodriguez to contact his old friends in a gang in New York in hopes that they would be willing to murder Blowers in exchange for $150 to $200,” the release cited. “Rodriguez confirmed that his friends were violent and likely could murder someone. Rodriguez said he attempted many times to dodge the conversations, but Brown repeatedly approached him over the course of a few weeks, each time pressing Rodriguez.”
Rodriguez eventually relented, and said he would try to contact his friends in New York and arrange the killing.
However, unknown to Brown, Rodriguez warned Blowers and a female that Brown was trying to arrange his murder on Jan. 28.
They went to the Lunenburg Sheriff’s Office and spoke to a deputy sheriff and repeated what Rodriguez had told them.
Deputy Peter Dayton and Deputy Alex Madison interviewed Rodriguez and confirmed the plot, the release cited.
They then consulted the Commonwealth’s Attorney who advised them to get someone to wear a wire and speak with Brown. Rodriguez agreed to do so, and Madison equipped him with audio and video recording equipment owned by law enforcement. Rodriguez then went to speak with Dwayne Brown, and recorded the conversation on video. “A review of the video showed Rodriguez at Brown’s residence,” the release cited. “Brown is clearly visible and identifiable in the video. Rodriguez said he had been in contact with his gang friends from New York. Brown began to lay out his plot for Rodriguez to pass along to the gang members. Brown told Rodriguez that he wanted the gang members to kill the man. Brown told Rodriguez, ‘I want him dead,’ ‘I want him gone,’ and ‘Bury him 6 feet under.’”
“Brown told Rodriguez the address where the man lived,” the release cited. “Brown then asked Rodriguez to ask his gang contacts for a price for the killing. Brown instructed Rodriguez to send a text message with the required amount, but to be sure not to put dollar signs in the message, rather only the amount needed.
Rodriguez told Brown it would likely be $150- 200. Brown told Rodriguez that he wouldn’t get paid for a few days, but he would be willing to send the money via Western Union once he got it. Brown described a plan where he and Rodriguez could travel into town to wire the money without arousing suspicion from anyone else.” Brown told Rodriguez that he needed the killing to occur after Feb. 12 in order to establish an alibi.
Brown explained that he was scheduled for shoulder surgery on that date, and he would be laid up in bed for days and couldn’t be suspected of involvement in the man’s murder. Brown explained that he intended to delete any incriminating text messages or evidence from his cellphone, and instructed Rodriguez to do the same, the release cited. That way, if the police did suspect Brown and searched his phone, they wouldn’t find anything to tie him to the murder.
Brown emphasized the need for secrecy between himself and Rodriguez, and for Rodriguez to ensure he himself had an alibi.
“Brown then instructed Rodriguez to tell his gang contacts to make the murder look like a botched robbery, where Blowers ‘gets knocked off in the process,’” the release continued. “Brown then reiterates the instructions for Rodriguez to message him the necessary amount for payment. Deputies from the Sheriff’s Office subsequently obtained arrest warrants for Brown and a search warrant for his residence based on seeing firearms in the house visible in the video.”
“The deputies served the warrants at the house the same night as Rodriguez’s visit, arresting Brown after a brief scuffle and attempt to escape,” the release cited. “Deputies advised Brown of the Miranda warning. Deputies seized several rifles and shotguns from the house, taking them into evidence. Once in custody, Brown admitted to owning and possessing firearms in the gun cabinet. Brown admitted his hatred for Blowers, saying “No doubt I hate the mother-f—–,” but denied trying to have him killed. Brown made no other admissions to the police.” Clement said in the release there are no sentencing guidelines for Solicitation to commit murder, but that he prepared some based on the more serious crime of attempted murder and determined a midpoint active sentence of 15 years to which the defense and prosecution agreed.
Judge S. Anderson Nelson imposed the sentence.