A MURDER IN THE FAMILY
It took nearly 5 1/2 years to convict David A. Brown in the death of his wife, Linda Marie Brown.
February, 1985: Patti Bailey, at the request of her lover and brother-in-law, David A. Brown, takes a gun into the room of her sister, Linda Marie Brown (David’s wife) at the Garden Grove home where they all live, intent on killing her. She gets scared and backs out. But, she now says, Brown told her it would be better anyway if Cinnamon, his daughter, did the shooting, since as a juvenile she probably wouldn’t go to jail.
March 19, 1985: Cinnamon Brown, 15, aided by her sister-in-law, Patti Bailey, fatally shoots her stepmother, Linda Marie Brown, as she sleeps in her bed. The police find Cinnamon in the back-yard doghouse, sick from a lethal drug concoction, with a crumpled suicide note saying she was sorry for shooting her stepmother. Her father, David A. Brown, had been out to a convenience store when the shooting occurred. Cinammon later said it was her father who suggested she take the drugs and “fake” a suicide.
September, 1986: Cinnamon Brown is sentenced to 27 years to life for murder but, because she is a juvenile, is sent to the California Youth Authority, where she is scheduled to remain no later than age 25.
1985-1988: Orange County district attorney investigator Jay Newell isn’t satisfied that the truth came out at her trial. For the next three years he keeps track of David A. Brown’s business affairs, follows what happens to the insurance money--Brown collected $835,000 on his wife’s death--and monitors Cinnamon’s activities at the Youth Authority.
July, 1986: David A. Brown and Patti Bailey are secretly married.
July 3, 1988: Cinnamon Brown turns 18. She is no longer a juvenile, and Newell feels free to contact her for the first time.
Aug. 10, 1988: Cinnamon Brown calls Newell and says she wants to tell him what happened. He soon interviews her.
Aug. 13, 1988: Cinammon is visited at a Youth Authority facility by her father, David, who tells her that if she tells the truth about what happened the night of the murder, “we’d all be in jail.” He tells her he is sorry that she ended up going to prison. He then suggested that perhaps Patti would be willing to accept the blame and take Cinnamon’s place in prison. Unknown to Brown, law enforcement authorities are covertly taping their conversation.
Sept. 22, 1988: Brown and Patti Bailey are arrested at their Anaheim home and charged with Linda Marie Brown’s murder. Brown makes damaging admissions to police that he had been involved in early discussions with the two young women about Linda’s death. But he claims they initiated it and he didn’t take them seriously.
October, 1988: Patti Bailey admits she and Cinnamon had been involved in a plot, masterminded by David Brown, to kill Linda.
January, 1989: Cinnamon and Patti testify against Brown at his preliminary hearing. He is ordered bound over for trial.
February, 1989: Prosecutors discover through a jailhouse informant that Brown is plotting to kill his wife, Patti, as well as Jay Newell and Jeoffrey L. Robinson, the lead prosecutor. The police secretly record Brown and another inmate as they discuss details of the plot. Later, when the inmate is free and cooperating with authorities, he falsely tells Brown all three have been murdered. Brown, unaware the conversation was being taped, answered: “Wonderful . . . you did great.”
May 11, 1989: Patti Bailey pleads guilty and is sentenced to the California Youth Authority. Now 21, she will remain in custody until age 25.
June 15, 1990: Brown is convicted of first-degree murder for financial gain and conspiracy.
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