Against expectations, Eroy Brown was granted parole after spending the last 27 years in prison for a Waco convenience-store robbery that netted twelve dollars and couple of candy bars. Even though Brown was convicted by a state court he served his time in federal prisons for his own protection. During three sensational trials in the early 1980s, Brown claimed self defense in the drowning of the Ellis prison warden and shooting the farm manager. Texas prison authorities denounced the verdicts as a miscarriage of justice. Brown testified that the warden pulled a gun on him and threatened to shoot him for talking about the theft of farm equipment by his boss.
Brown’s parole attorney, Bill Habern, who also helped defend him at trial, says he expects Brown to be released at the end of the month from a federal prison in North Carolina. He will fly to Los Angeles where he will be stay in a church supported halfway house that helps former inmates who have served a lot of time.
Brown was approved for parole in 2000 but the decision was reversed.
Stories about the parole have appeared in Grits for Breakfast
and the Austin American Statesman:
“This has been a long time coming,” said Bill Habern, a Huntsville attorney who represented Brown in both the murder and parole cases. “Twenty-seven years for a $12 robbery is a lot of time. … This way, he’ll be under supervision when he gets out.
“The board deserves credit. The right thing to do was to grant this parole, and they did that.”