Warm Southern Breeze

"… there is no such thing as nothing."

Discovery Middle School Murder – Madison, AL

Posted by Warm Southern Breeze on Saturday, February 6, 2010

By now, news of the murder of ninth grader Todd Brown at Discovery Middle School in Madison, Alabama has traveled around the globe. With text messages and the Internet, it was probably accomplished in under twelve hours.

However, one thing the local “media” and “news” outlets are keeping hush-hush is Todd’s killer’s name.

The Huntsville Times has reported interviews with bystanders and friends of the boy whom other students witnessed kill young Todd Brown. However, they have, to this point, steadfastly refused to mention his name, though it is known to law enforcement authorities who arrested the boy on murder charges, to select community members, and the students at Discovery Middle School.

The newspaper and broadcast media outlets have not told their readers why they’re not telling the killer’s name.

The Huntsville Times reported partial and disturbing content of the ninth-grade killer’s MySpace page, and interviewed some of his friends.

The Huntsville Times also reported that they have confirmed the name of the killer, “but the name is being withheld by police because he is a juvenile.”

The Times identified friends of the killer, including eye witnesses, which included Christopher Glover, Janelle Lawrence, Aaron Sims, Jermey Tuttle, and others. But what I don’t understand is why, especially after speaking with eye-witnesses, and having confirmed his identity, they don’t refer to the witnesses accounts for the shooter’s name.

That reeks of hypocrisy.

2 Responses to “Discovery Middle School Murder – Madison, AL”

  1. wb5rmg said

    I’m sure that it seems a cop-out to say “It’s the law – he is a juvenile”, perhaps it is a law that doesn’t make sense. But, the law needs to be followed, just as the accused killer needs to have his trial in court – not in the the media. It IS the law. I suspect he will be tried as an adult – you will eventually know his name. Is there any real hurry ? How much difference will it make to you ?

    This is hard; very, very hard. More difficult than I have ever imagined. This is my daughter’s school. These are her teachers and friends that are dealing with the residuals from this tragedy. Everyone outside of this close ‘school-family’ wants to know the nitty-gritty details, and to pass their own judgements – right here, right now. All that will come in time, and apparently in due process.

    The important thing right now is for the Discovery students to come to terms with what has happened to their school and their community. They know the names of both boys, and recognize that something terrible has happened to BOTH families. They know that the laws will be followed, and justice will be served – but for now they are mourning the loss of their innocence, the sanctity of their school has been violated. This is a lesson we would all prefer to defer.

    I have to agree with the law and the bureaucracy at this point, there is no value in ‘spilling the beans’ as it were in regard to facts surrounding this ongoing investigation. This will be an important trial, and if “ANY” little technicality blows the integrity of the case, then justice may be compromised. There will be more details come out of this than any of us really want to know, but like circling sharks – we will all be waiting with baited breath…

    There are already details emerging (as the defense attorney hopes to set the stage more in his favor) that allow some folks to have second thoughts about their first impressions – but as the kids at school will tell you; Todd did not need to die. THAT is the bottom line. Whether it was gang-related, no matter who came from where, or for why they were where-ever, what-ever – Todd did not need to die, and XYZ did not need to ruin his life. They were BOTH part of this extended ‘school-family’ – something that us adults don’t see as easily.

    I was nearly shocked by your re-stating the names of friends ? I can’t defend the media outlets for publishing those, I don’t understand that either. Kids are not even young-adults. They deserve protection from that sort of scrutiny, that kind of invasion – especially if they have not committed any crime. Just because the popular media used their names doesn’t give you any right to echo the same. It may be hypocrisy, but it appears that you may share more with the media than you’d suspect. They put more value on “the public has a right to know”, than they do the sensitivity and privacy owed to kids that age. Sure, if one commits a felony of this magnitude, and is judged to stand trial as an adult – so be it; details will abound.

    However, what about the kids (the friends) so named… They are now branded as “friends of a killer”, how are the other kids at school supposed to treat THEM now…? Justice will prevail in due course, the damage has already been done. The healing has to take place, starting right after school that day. That is the immediate goal.
    Personally I don’t care that I’ve heard his name, and other details. I am much more obsessed with my daughter’s well-being and restoring her life to a less-stressful and less-fearful day-to-day return to normalcy at school – and that may take weeks, even months, maybe years. It may sound selfish, but I’d also like to restore my life, and my wife’s to a more normal state after this tragedy. This is very, very hard for everyone in town, especially those with kids at Discovery.

    I guess it helps that I’m a patient kindof guy; I know that the law enforcement and judicial process will take it’s course, and hopefully satisfy their obligations. It is impossible to call any outcome the ‘right thing’. The damage has been done. Let the healing continue.

    Very respectfully … /;^)


  2. Warm Southern Breeze said

    Paragraph 1. – Agreed – knowing the killer’s name would make no difference. But, knowing one’s name “just because” (for the sake of knowing one’s name) is not the point.

    P2. – Agreed – It’s hard for everyone, me included, because I’m a member of the community. I’m in unity with you, my friends’ son and others. What hurts them, hurts me. As John Donne wrote, “no man is an island.” Judgement will be passed by our legal authorities.

    P3. – Agreed – This is most tragic for our entire community. Where is justice in death? There is no justice in death – either privately or at the hands of the state. Unfortunately, this lesson cannot be deferred.

    P4. – Disagree – No one lives in secret, and open and honest government requires open and honest people, and open and honest dialogue. What point is served by secrecy, and hush, hush? As I have spoken to others in the community, it has been said to me, “it’s a very poorly kept secret.” Though I have read a name, I have not confirmed his name. I’ve not made a very diligent effort to do so, either. Were I to have been diligent, I would have published his name. What does it serve to NOT identify the killer by name? Why not withhold the decedent’s name? If it’s good for the goose, then it’s good for the gander. Matter of fact, why not withhold the fact of the whole thing? Where does secrecy stop? What if there were no video of the killing? What is NO ONE talked or testified about what they saw? How could the accused be convicted? Isn’t that much like what mafioso do? And yet, our 5th Amendment allows us the absolute right NOT to talk. Why criticize others whom do so outside the courtroom? Truth can, and hopefully will, emerge in a courtroom. But what if they didn’t talk there, either?

    P5. – Agreed – Todd Brown’s death was unnecessary. Where is justice in death? There is no justice in death – either privately or at the hands of the state.

    P6. – Agreed/Disagree – Kids are not young adults. Kids are baby goats. Children are the young of adults. More to the point, however. We all scrutinize. From the time of our childhood, until the day we draw out last breath, we all scrutinize. I cannot say – for I do not know – how Lee Roop or other Huntsville Times writers came by the youth’s names. I rather suspect that they asked their names. In speaking with other news gathering organizations locally, I have been told that they have interviewed (and will likely continue to interview) the victim’s family, the perpetrator’s family and others. If those people willingly speak, why should anyone get their hackles raised? People want to tell stories. It’s our nature.

    P7. – Agreed – How children treat others is a direct result of how they are raised in their family. How we treat others is direct reflection on how we were raised. Have we heard that children can be and are shocking in their atrocious actions? Yes. We see video to that effect. We read stories in the news about it. Oh wait… maybe we should keep that private. My little demon didn’t beat the stuffing out of your angel! Oh no! You altered the video tape! The “domestic church,” also known as the family, is the proper place for children to learn the virtues of their parents because they see them practiced daily. Children and adults learn by emulation. Taking care of one’s own – caring for one another – as you illustrate, is what family is about. There again is the importance of the idea of community – in and with unity.

    P8. – Agreed – Let the healing continue. Rest assured, you and others are in my daily prayers. Thanks for sharing. God bless, I love you my friend.

    (See? We agree on at least 6/8 – 75%! Ain’t that great?!)


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