US & Canada

Amber Guyger case: Two arrested over death of 'wrong flat' murder witness

Composite image of two of three suspects, Thaddeous Green and Michael Mitchell Image copyright Dallas Police Department
Image caption Thaddeous Green (left) remains at large while Michael Mitchell (right) was arrested on Tuesday

Police have arrested two men allegedly involved with the shooting and killing of a key witness from the Texas "wrong flat" murder trial of a US policewoman.

Joshua Brown, who lived in the same building as victim Botham Jean and killer policewoman Amber Guyger, died in a shooting in Dallas last Friday.

Jacquerious Mitchell and Michael Mitchell are in custody, while a third suspect, Thaddeous Green, is at large.

Police say the shooting was drug-related and not connected to the case.

US marshals took Michael, 32, into custody at a motel in Marksville, Louisiana, on Tuesday, Dallas police said. Jacquerious, 20, had been arrested earlier at a hospital in Louisiana.

A manhunt for Mr Green is still going on. The three men face murder charges.

According to police, the Mitchells and Mr Green, 22, had driven to Dallas, Texas, from Alexandria, Louisiana, to allegedly purchase marijuana from Mr Brown.

During the alleged drug deal on Saturday, Mr Green and Mr Brown had an argument which led to a physical fight and the shooting.

Mr Brown allegedly shot and wounded the younger Mr Mitchell first, before Mr Green shot Mr Brown twice, Jacquerious Mitchell told police.

Authorities said Mr Green then took Mr Brown's gun and backpack and the men fled. Michael Mitchell is suspected of being the getaway driver.

They left the wounded Jacquerious at the hospital where he was later arrested.

When police arrived on scene shortly after 22:30 (03:30 GMT), witnesses directed them to a parking lot where Mr Brown was lying on the ground with multiple gunshot wounds. Mr Brown later died in hospital.

The incident occurred in an apartment block different from the one where Botham Jean was killed in September 2018.

Police found 12lb (5kg) of marijuana, THC cartridges and $4,000 (£3,200) cash in Mr Brown's apartment after obtaining a search warrant.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption Joshua Brown at the trial of Amber Guyger

At a news conference on Tuesday, Dallas assistance police chief Avery Moore said: "As you know, there's been speculation and rumours that have been shared by community leaders claiming that Mr Brown's death was related to the Amber Guyger trial and somehow the Dallas Police Department was responsible.

"I assure you that is simply not true, and I encourage those leaders to be mindful of their actions moving forward because their words have jeopardised the integrity of the city of Dallas as well as the Dallas Police Department."

Mr Brown's family issued a statement through their lawyer, Lee Merritt, encouraging Dallas police to "turn over this murder investigation to an alternate investigative agency" to remove the "cloud of suspicion" over the case.

"Due to the proximity of this murder with the trial of Amber Guyger - rumours abound. It will be nearly impossible to conduct a reliable investigation in a climate where the investigating agency has been implicated in the murder itself."

Who was Joshua Brown?

Twenty-eight-year-old Joshua Brown was a former athlete and entrepreneur, US media reported.

He delivered an emotional testimony at Guyger's trial, telling the court he had been in the hallway of the fourth floor where he and Jean lived when he heard sounds from Jean's apartment.

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Media captionBrandt Jean embraces his brother's killer in court

Mr Brown described hearing "two people meeting by surprise" followed by two gunshots. He wept as he bore witness.

Amber Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison last week.

Dallas prosecutor Jason Hermus had lauded Mr Brown, saying he "bravely came forward to testify when others wouldn't".

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