Oklahoma County prosecutors wrapped up their case against accused killer Fabion Brown today, trying to undermine Brown's credibility by showing that he has changed his story several times. Mr. Brown's credibility is especially critical in this murder-for-hire case, since he is not only a key witness in his own defense, but is also serving as his own counsel.
Attorneys played excerpts from a series of phone calls made by Mr. Brown, both before and after his arrest. One of the calls was for an exclusive interview with News 9 reporter just days before the start of his trial.
The state obtained the News 9 interview with Brown through the Oklahoma County Jail. Jail staff warn calling parties that phone conversations are recorded.
Still, the 26-year-old Brown objected to that and two other jailhouse calls being used as evidence, arguing that he had not been told the recordings could be used against him in court.
Brown's phone call to News 9 was an effort on his part to defend himself in public, before having to defend himself in the courtroom.
In that call, Brown refuted allegations that he rented a car for a hired hitman to use in the plot to kill his estranged wife, Jessica McPherson Brown, and her unborn baby.
Reporter: "A sticking point in the case has been the rental car. Why did you rent the car?"
Brown: "Originally, I rented car to go to Dallas and get away from the city."
Brown further explained that, ultimately, he didn't make the trip to Dallas due to financial reasons, and that it was without his knowledge that his alleged co-conspirator, Emily Matheson, loaned the car to the convicted gunman in this case, Broderick Glover.
Brown: "I didn't find out Glover had the car until the 11th [of January]."
Prosecutors used that portion of the interview and more to show jurors that Brown has changed his story several times since his wife was found dead inside her Midwest City home on January 11, 2012.
Prosecutors also played segments from two other phone calls for the jury. In both instances, Brown contradicted what he said in the News 9 interview.
In calls to his mother and a friend, Brown admitted to loaning the rental car to Glover, and acknowledged that it would be an issue in his defense.
Courtroom observers say Brown raised only minor objections to the phone call evidence during cross-examination. They say he spent more time raising questions about the deletion of police surveillance video of his apartment prior to the start of trial.
If convicted, Brown could face the death penalty.