The mastermind of a "murder-for-hire" plot was formally sentenced to death today, 31 months to the day since the crime was discovered.
Fabion Brown, 26, was convicted in June of orchestrating the shooting death of his estranged wife, Jessica McPherson Brown, and her unborn baby at her Midwest City home in January 2012.
Brown chose to represent himself at trial and, despite the jury's verdict, continued to argue his case, even as he walked into court this morning.
"There was some witnesses that lied," Brown told reporters as he walked off the courthouse elevator.
While the sentencing hearing seemed unlikely to produce any surprise change in punishment, Brown was determined to fight for his life one last time, and Oklahoma County District Judge Ray Elliott was, at least, willing to listen.
"The jury's verdict clearly goes against the way of the evidence," Brown stated, as he stood before Judge Elliott.
Brown challenged the verdict, claiming at least one juror reached a decision before Brown had presented his defense. He also claimed the state knowingly used false testimony.
First Assistant District Attorney Scott Rowland called Brown's argument absurd.
"What Fabion Brown doesn't like," Rowland told reporters after the hearing, "is that the evidence was overwhelming, and the verdict was swift and just."
After convicting Brown earlier this year, jurors recommended he get the death penalty, and Judge Elliott upheld the verdict today.
"Mr. Brown, you will be sentenced to death and or put to death on the 31st day of October, 2014," announced Judge Elliott."You acted like a gentleman during trial," the judge went on, "and, for what it's worth, I appreciate that."
Afterward, Brown said he has no regrets about defending himself and will now ready himself for an appeal. He insists his trial was not fair.
"Not at all," Brown said, as he began his trek back to the jail.
"This was an imminently fair trial," said Rowland, after being informed of Brown's comment. "Fabion Brown's got one person to blame for where he is today and that's Fabion Brown."
Brown will be assigned an attorney and receive a transcript from the trial at the public's expense.