Loud cheers and sobs broke the calm of the courtroom Friday as a Sterling Heights area man was convicted of killing four women in his basement and stuffing their bodies in car trunks after he met them through online escort ads.
Police said James Brown killed the women in pairs, just days apart, at his home in December 2011 while his mother was upstairs. The bodies were left miles away in a Detroit neighborhood. Two were burned beyond recognition when a car was set on fire.
Brown, 25, was convicted of first-degree murder, arson and disinterment of a body after a three-week trial in Macomb County court. He faces life in prison with no chance for parole when he returns April 15.
“I wish they had the electrocutin’ chair. I want a life for a life. He needs to die,” said Chikita Madison, the mother of one victim and the aunt of another.
Denise Higgins, the mother of another victim, said: “Why God has put us through this, I don’t understand.”
The jury deliberated less than four hours over two days after Thursday’s closing arguments. Judge James Biernat Jr. told spectators to keep a lid on their emotions, but the warning didn’t stop some family members and friends from loudly expressing delight as the verdicts were read.
“Yes!” one man yelled after the first of 10 guilty verdicts was announced by the jury foreman.