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Jury to soon sentence convicted Dinwiddie State Trooper killer

Posted at 7:28 PM, Aug 02, 2016
and last updated 2016-08-02 19:28:01-04

DINWIDDIE COUNTY, Va. -- A jury of 12 will soon decide the fate of Russell Brown, who was convicted last week for the murder of Virginia State Master Trooper Junius Walker in March 2013.

The jury received instructions after closing arguments and then left for the day.  They will reconvene on Wednesday.

Brown shot and killed Walker, 63, after the trooper pulled beside a disabled vehicle on the shoulder of southbound Interstate 85 in Dinwiddie, investigators said.

The 31-year-old was found guilty of six felony charges: capital murder of a law enforcement officer, attempted capital murder of a law officer, three counts of use of a firearm in commission of a felony, and attempted murder.

Russell Brown III

Russell Brown III

Brown was initially deemed mentally unfit to stand trial. He pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity.

Tuesday, the jury of six men and six women heard testimonies from multiple doctors, counselors, and friends of Brown during the sentencing phase of the trial.

The witnesses each described Brown's family members as having a history of severe mental illnesses who were in and out of mental hospitals and group homes.

Lori Lambert, a family intervention team member with the Chesterfield-Colonial Heights Department of Social Services, described Brown's living environment as "disastrous."

Lambert testified that at one point in Brown's life, both his grandmother and mother told judges they no longer wanted to be his legal guardian.

Master Trooper Walker was a 40-year veteran with the Virginia State Police nearing retirement, a father of six children, and a husband of 32 years when he was killed.

Trooper Walker

Dinwiddie County Commonwealth's Attorney Ann Baskervill said her office is pursuing the death penalty against Brown.

The defense plans to rest its case in the sentencing phase on Tuesday, and Judge Paul W. Cella said he expects the decision to go to the jury Tuesday afternoon.

Jurors will be asked to choose between sentencing Brown to death or to life in prison without parole.