James Brown’s loss of life inquiry faces unsure future after Atlanta district lawyer is voted out

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Hollander instructed the prosecutors she’d obtained the inexperienced plastic bin from Candice Hurst, Brown’s former hairdresser and backup singer. She stated Hurst was so anxious in regards to the contents of the bin that she anticipated to “go to jail if these items got here to gentle.”

In a 2017 interview, Hurst instructed me she’d stored a few of the objects within the bin to show her innocence with regard to Brown’s loss of life. She stated she was not in Atlanta the night time Brown died. However she anxious that the objects, which included footwear, lingerie, and drug residue, “may additionally make me look responsible.”

Hollander completed her story. The DA made an inventory of potential witnesses, took custody of the inexperienced plastic bin, and gave Hollander a property receipt.

“Inside a interval of six months, we are going to see whether or not or not we will speak to the individuals that you’ve got described,” he instructed her. “If on the finish of that interval, we’re not in a position to substantiate what you’ve got delivered to us, we are going to then name you and return the objects to you.”

These six months had been eventful ones for the prosecutor. The Covid-19 pandemic hit Georgia in March, making it tough to strive a case or convene a grand jury. In Might, the Atlanta Journal-Structure reported that Howard was underneath state investigation for improper use of funds from a nonprofit group. (Howard denied prison wrongdoing however later admitted to moral violations.) In June, he was accused of speeding the investigation that led to a felony homicide cost towards the police officer who shot and killed Rayshard Brooks. And on August 11, in a Democratic major runoff towards Fani Willis, Howard misplaced in a landslide.
His authorized troubles have worsened since then. On Thursday, after the AJC reported that he was underneath federal investigation, Howard’s spokesman despatched me a press release acknowledging that Howard had obtained a federal grand jury subpoena for information about his “supplemental compensation.” The assertion stated the funds had been “fully lawful” and that Howard would “absolutely cooperate with this investigation.”
James Brown and wife Adrienne promote his new line of cookies.

Howard’s sixth and closing time period will finish at midnight on December 31. The place does that go away the inquiry into James Brown’s loss of life? Howard did not reply to my interview request or an inventory of questions I despatched his spokesman. Nor has he returned the objects to Hollander, though the six months elapsed August 12. However at some point later, on August 13, Jacque Hollander was shocked to get a telephone name and textual content messages from Candice Hurst, the previous proprietor of the inexperienced plastic bin.

Hollander referred to as the police. Based on the report, “Jacquelyn acknowledged that Candice despatched an image of a cat with a clock indicating a attainable loss of life time and different photos of her residence in addition to inappropriate photos of herself.”

No fees had been filed, as a result of the officer didn’t understand any threats within the textual content messages, however the report says the officer referred to as Hurst and requested her to not contact Hollander once more. It was August 14. Hurst referred to as me that afternoon.

We would spoken many occasions throughout the reporting of my three-part sequence on the deaths of James Brown and his third spouse, Adrienne. However I hadn’t heard from Hurst in 16 months. Now she needed me to interview her daughter, Kayla Cavazo, about Hurst’s declare that she was in Augusta on Christmas Eve 2006 and subsequently couldn’t have been on the hospital in Atlanta when Brown died.

I agreed to talk along with her daughter, who had hung up on me once I referred to as for an interview in 2018. Now Cavazo corroborated her mom’s story: They had been each at dwelling in Augusta on Christmas Eve 2006. Hurst by no means left the home, the daughter stated, and thus she couldn’t have been with Brown when he died in his hospital room early Christmas morning.

A James Brown statue stands in his hometown of Augusta, Georgia.

In a follow-up interview with Hurst, I reminded her {that a} man named Tony Wilson stated Hurst instructed him she was on the hospital with Brown, partied with Brown earlier than his loss of life, and “perhaps that killed him.” A former James Brown worker named Shana Quinones stated Brown’s right-hand man Charles Bobbit reported seeing Hurst on the hospital. (Bobbit instructed many variations of the story of that night time. He died in 2017. Quinones is the one particular person I’ve interviewed who says he instructed her Hurst was on the hospital.)

In his first interview with me, her former boyfriend Carlos Cavazo stated Hurst “referred to as me from the hospital.” (In a follow-up interview, he stated he thought she’d referred to as him from dwelling.) A “imaginative and prescient” Hurst admitted sharing with Jacque Hollander sounded to Hollander as if it got here from somebody who was within the hospital room. (Hurst additionally instructed me this was a dream she had, not an account of being within the hospital room.)

A lab take a look at commissioned by CNN confirmed a drug referred to as Diltiazem on Hurst’s shoe, and Dr. Marvin Crawford instructed me he’d given Brown Diltiazem on the hospital. And the objects from her storage unit included a word Hurst admitted writing to herself: “How did Mr. Brown know I used to be gonna be with him when he died?” (Hurst has stated the word meant Brown needed her to be with him when he died—not that she really was with him.)

“In order that’s six separate unbiased indications that you just had been on the hospital,” I stated. “Whenever you add all of them up, an affordable particular person would possibly conclude that you just had been, the truth is, on the hospital. What do you say to that?”

“Properly, once more, I want I used to be,” she stated, “so I may have stated ‘thanks.’ And ‘I really like you.’ And, you realize, ‘God bless you.’ You understand, actually. However I used to be by no means in Atlanta, by no means on the hospital.”

“And I did not homicide anyone.”

“My daughter was with me. We had been in my lounge. I didn’t go away. And so I could not have been on the hospital to kill him.”

The strangest a part of the interview got here once I requested Hurst in regards to the photos she had texted to Jacque Hollander earlier that month. Hurst did not ship me the image of the cat and the clock, however she did ship me most of the others she despatched Hollander, exhibiting herself in skimpy clothes and suggestive poses. Hurst claimed this was a “character” she was enjoying, somebody named Countess Sheba, a recording artist attempting to ship a constructive message by music.

“Tick-tock goes the clock,” she sang to me. “Gonna get acquired.”

I referred to as her again in September and requested her what that meant. She stated it was not a menace.

“All people that is carried out dangerous, and won’t do justice for James Brown, their time is coming, and God has vengeance.”

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