HUNTSVILLE, Texas — A Texas man was executed on Thursday for the murders of a pregnant woman and three other people in Houston more than three decades ago, prison officials said.
Arthur Brown Jr., 52, died by lethal injection at the Texas State Penitentiary at Huntsville, the Houston Chronicle reported. He had spent more than 30 years on death row and was executed after several late legal filings that aimed to establish that he was intellectually disabled and that prosecutors withheld evidence were rejected.
“Arthur Brown Jr. is an innocent and intellectually disabled man incarcerated on Texas’s death row as a result of sloppy police work, prosecutorial suppression of exculpatory evidence, corrupted eyewitness identifications, (and) false forensic testimony,” the public defenders said in their filings last week, according to The Texas Tribune.
Arthur Brown Jr. executed for murders of 4 people, including pregnant woman, at Houston drug den https://t.co/l05TgqM1rt— Houston Chronicle (@HoustonChron) March 10, 2023
Harris County prosecutors denied shielding evidence and disputed the defense attorney’s contention about Brown’s mental capabilities, the news outlet reported.
“Simply put, the applicant’s ‘new’ evidence is of little value, and pales in comparison to the weight of inculpatory evidence,” prosecutors said.
Killed during the drug robbery in 1992 were Jose Tovar, 32; Frank Farias, 17, the son of Tovar’s wife, Rachel; Jessica Quiñones, 19, the girlfriend of another son of Rachel Tovar who was seven months pregnant; and neighbor Audrey Brown, 21. All four had been tied up and shot in the head. Rachel Tovar and Nicholas Cortez were also shot but survived, according to The Associated Press.
They crawled to a neighbor’s house for help. All of the victims were shot in the head, according to the Chronicle.
Read Arthur Brown Jr.’s final words, given before he was executed in Texas tonight for the murders of four people in Houston.— Jolie McCullough (@jsmccullou) March 10, 2023
“What is occurring here tonight is not justice, it’s murder of an innocent man for a murder that occurred in 1992.”https://t.co/OQ6OAXf6Wo pic.twitter.com/qOg8WpzYSM
A jury found Brown and his accomplices, Marion Dudley and Anthony “Antonio” Dunson guilty of the killings, the newspaper reported. Witnesses said the trio had traveled from Alabama to Houston in 1992 and carried out the execution-style murders of the people they had planned to buy drugs from.
The three men were convicted of capital murder, with Brown and Dudley sentenced to death, the Chronicle reported. Dudley was executed in 2006, according to the newspaper.
Dunson is eligible for parole in 2027.