Man sent to prison for shoot­ing Pottstown man

The Community Connection - - LOCAL NEWS - By Carl Hessler Jr. chessler@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @Mont­coCourtNews on Twit­ter

NORRISTOWN » A Norristown man faces decades in prison after a jury de­ter­mined he shot a Pottstown man with the in­tent to kill him dur­ing an ar­gu­ment about own­er­ship of a mo­tor­cy­cle.

Bobby Brown, 41, of the first block of Lin­coln Drive, was sen­tenced in Mont­gomery County Court on Mon­day to 22½ to 45 years in a state cor­rec­tional fa­cil­ity on charges of at­tempted homi­cide, ag­gra­vated and sim­ple as­sault, reck­lessly en­dan­ger­ing an­other person and firearms not to be car­ried with­out a li­cense in connection with the 2:40 p.m. Nov. 1, 2016, shoot­ing of Robert Pfan­ders in­side a garage lo­cated at the rear of a res­i­dence in the first block of King Street in Pottstown.

The sen­tence was im­posed by Judge Richard P. Haaz who presided over the three-day trial in May, at which a jury of six men and six women con­victed Brown of the charges. Dur­ing the trial, As­sis­tant District At­tor­ney Sa­man­tha L. Thomp­son ar­gued Brown shot Pfan­ders three times with the in­tent to kill him as they ar­gued over the own­er­ship of a mo­tor­cy­cle in­side the garage where Pfan­ders was work­ing. Thomp­son al­leged Brown was an­gry when he came to the garage that day and sus­pected the mo­tor­cy­cle in the garage be­longed to him.

Tes­ti­mony re­vealed the mo­tor­cy­cle was not reg­is­tered to Brown.

Thomp­son sought a lengthy prison sen­tence against Brown.

“The facts of the case are grue­some. It’s a case where Mr. Brown ba­si­cally val­ued the vic­tim’s life as less than the mo­tor­cy­cle that he thought the vic­tim owed to him. He shot him point blank three times, twice while he was on his knees fall­ing to the ground,” Thomp­son said on Mon­day, adding Brown is a dan­ger to the com­mu­nity.

Brown con­tin­ued to pro­fess his in­no­cence be­fore learn­ing his fate.

“There’s a com­plete lack of ac­count­abil­ity,” Thomp­son said.

Pottstown De­tec­tive Thomas Lea­han tes­ti­fied at trial that when he ar­rived at the shoot­ing scene and asked a wounded Pfan­ders who shot him, Pfan­ders replied, “Bobby Brown! Bobby Brown from Norristown.”

Tes­ti­mony re­vealed a gun­shot to Pfan­ders’ back was life threat­en­ing, trav­el­ing through his di­aphragm, de­stroy­ing his spleen and dam­ag­ing his colon. Pfan­ders also suf­fered gun­shot wounds to the left fore­arm and left thigh and lost 20 per­cent of his blood vol­ume, tes­ti­mony re­vealed.

Pfan­ders was trans­ported to a lo­cal trauma cen­ter and un­der­went mul­ti­ple surg­eries dur­ing which his spleen was re­moved. A foren­sic pathol­o­gist tes­ti­fied Pfan­ders was “for­tu­nate” to have sur­vived the at­tack.

Brown did not tes­tify dur­ing the trial but char­ac­ter wit­nesses said he had a rep­u­ta­tion in the com­mu­nity for be­ing peace­ful and non-vi­o­lent.

At trial, de­fense lawyer Scott C. McIn­tosh ar­gued to the jury that there was no DNA ev­i­dence, no video sur­veil­lance footage of the shoot­ing and that a weapon was never found, nor linked to Brown.

McIn­tosh chal­lenged the no­tion that Brown was re­spon­si­ble for the shoot­ing, claim­ing there was rea­son­able doubt in the case.

McIn­tosh sug­gested an eye­wit­ness’s ac­count of the shoot­ing and his iden­ti­fi­ca­tion of Brown as the shooter couldn’t be trusted be­cause the eye­wit­ness, who was work­ing in the garage with Pfan­ders, was un­der the in­flu­ence of drugs at the time of the shoot­ing.

McIn­tosh, sug­gest­ing au­thor­i­ties ar­rested the wrong person, im­plied Pfan­ders knew who shot him but framed Brown for the shoot­ing.

Tes­ti­mony re­vealed Brown wasn’t taken into cus­tody un­til Nov. 25 when Philadelphia po­lice found him dur­ing a traf­fic stop. At that time, Brown gave po­lice a false name, an act Thomp­son ar­gued, showed Brown’s “con­scious­ness of guilt.”

A gun never was re­cov­ered. But tes­ti­mony also re­vealed Brown did not have a li­cense to carry a con­cealed weapon.

In ad­di­tion to wit­ness iden­ti­fi­ca­tions of Brown as the shooter, there was cir­cum­stan­tial ev­i­dence point­ing to Brown’s guilt, Thomp­son ar­gued.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors ob­tained video sur­veil­lance footage that showed a green Jeep Grand Chero­kee, al­legedly op­er­ated by Brown, trav­el­ing at a high rate of speed in the area a minute after the shoot­ing. Tes­ti­mony also re­vealed that Brown’s right thumb print was found on a ve­hi­cle parked out­side the garage, which Thomp­son the­o­rized Brown touched as he fled from the scene of the shoot­ing.

“It’s a case where Mr. Brown ba­si­cally val­ued the vic­tim’s life as less than the mo­tor­cy­cle that he thought the vic­tim owed to him.” — Mont­gomery County As­sis­tant District At­tor­ney Sa­man­tha Thomp­son

Bobby Brown

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