Judge Throws Out Conviction on Man Convicted of Murdering Deputy
Judge Throws Out Conviction of Man Convicted of Murdering Deputy
A judge in Springfield, Missouri threw out the murder conviction on a man accused of being involved in the murder of a deputy.
Two months ago, a jury found Joshua Brown, 30, guilty in the November 2014 murder of Deputy Matthew Chism. Brown was also charged with drug possession, hindering prosecution, and tampering with evidence.
Greene County Circuit Judge Calvin Holden later overturned the murder and hindering convictions, and only sentenced Brown on drug possession and tampering with evidence.
Ozarks First reported that Cedar County Prosecuting Attorney Ty Gaither released a statement critical of the judge’s ruling, “affirms his opinion and that of the Greene County Jury, that Joshua Brown is guilty of felony murder, that Judge Calvin Holden’s decision is incorrect, ignores the law and the facts, and improperly sets aside the decision of the jury.”
During the initial incident, Deputy Chism attempted to stop Brown for defective lights on his vehicle. Brown sped off, and led Deputy Chism on a pursuit. When the vehicle stopped, William Collins, 28, got out of the passenger side of the vehicle and ran away.
Deputy Chism got out of his car and chased Collins down. Deputy Chism and Collins then got into a physical altercation, and both of them were shot. Collins died on scene and Deputy Chism died an hour later at the hospital.
Judge Holden’s issue appears to be that Deputy Chism chased Collins. Collins was the passenger in the vehicle so Judge Holden believed that Deputy Chism had no reason to chase after Collins.
Even if Deputy Chism had improperly chased after Collins, that doesn’t excuse his murder.
Brown was sentenced to 17 years on his drug and tampering charges. Due to the fact that his conviction was for a drug offense, which is considered a non-violent crime, he is unlikely to actually serve his full term.