Murder case ends with plea granted

Jan. 09, 2014 @ 09:01 PM

A four-year-old case of capital murder and robbery was finally laid to rest as an accessory to murder plea deal Thursday in Vance County Superior Court.

Robert Maguel Brodie Jr., now 24, received time served awaiting trial plus six to nine years in state prison for his role in the Oct. 20, 2009, shotgun murder and attempted robbery of 43-year-old David Dmitri Perry.

The shooting death occurred at 4:40 a.m., at the doorway entrance of Jokers Bar and Lounge, 4453 U.S. 1/158 North. Perry, a resident of Warrenton, and others in the lounge had been playing poker.

Assistant District Attorney Allison Capps in summarizing state’s evidence said that another man at the lounge, Michael Terry, struggled with the masked gunman, succeeding to snatch the shotgun away from him.

“That happened after the shooting,” Capps said.

Cellphone records and DNA evidence demonstrated that Brodie was at the lounge location, had numerous conversations with someone inside and had handled the shotgun soon before the shooting, according to Capps.

Terry recently indicated, however, he could not verify that the masked gunman’s basic physical description was consistent with Brodie.

“That never came to light before,” Capps explained to Judge Paul C. Ridgeway. “He said that the man he wrestled with at Jokers Bar had a very different physical build.”

Brodie, Capps said, had several conversations with then 25-year-old Quincy McKinley Gregory by cellphone leading up to the incident, and connections linked his cellphone from the nearby vicinity through calls made before and after.

Earlier reports indicated the gunman did not enter all the way into the lounge. Capps said on Thursday after the shooting near the door, as Perry was opening the door, the gunman entered the lounge area.

“Perry did not know the gunman was there, and the gunman did not know Perry was there as he opened the door,” Capps said.

Gregory, now 29, has never been named as a suspect in the murder, according to case records.

Investigating deputy Joseph Ferguson, now a Vance County Sheriff’s Office major, verified outside the courtroom Thursday that Gregory was not a suspect.

“There was definitely an association between Gregory and Brodie,” Ferguson said. “Gregory was inside the building at the time.”

There was no indication given on Thursday of an ongoing investigation that would resume or reopen with a focus on finding the shooter.

Capps gave no indication that Brodie was cooperating or would cooperate with an effort to identify and locate the gunman. That was not an issue discussed during the plea hearing.

According to Capps, family members, including Perry’s wife, named Veronica Perry in 2009, at least understood the terms of the plea deal and why the case was resolved.

“While she would have liked for Brodie to incur more of a penalty, she understands and accepts this plea,” Capps said to Ridgeway.

Brodie, in jail uniform, stood flanked by his capital case attorneys David Waters and Jerry Stainback. Ridgeway explained statutory maximums for sentencing on the count of accessory after the fact to first-degree murder totaled nearly 20 years.

The plea deal vacated the capital case and the robbery charge. Early in the case Brodie had been charged with capital first-degree murder, robbery with a dangerous weapon, possession of a firearm by a convicted felon and possession of a stolen firearm.

The calculated range based on Brodie’s prior criminal record placed the penalty recommendation at 125-159 months. Ridgeway did not stray from the recommendation.

Brodie, of 722 Young Ave. in Henderson, had prior felony convictions on charges of accessory to a felony, breaking and entering, larceny and making threats.

“This put him at level four,” Waters said, indicating the level that determined the recommended sentence range.

Stainback said there were other matters to discuss, including a request for incarceration services for Brodie in preparation for his release in about six years.

“He was only 20 years old at the time,” Stainback said. “There are mitigating factors in this case,” and services would help Brodie “to make a worthwhile contribution after his release. He will be approximately 30 years old.”

Ridgeway ordered that a statement recommending prison programs of educational and vocational training for Brodie be a part of the final ruling in the case.

Capps said that Perry’s widowed wife was not feeling capable of commenting to the defendant in the courtroom.

Family members declined comment as well.

Contact the writer at mfisher@hendersondispatch.com.