By Joe Johnson
The Georgia Supreme Court has upheld the 2018 murder conviction of an Athens man who fatally shot another man in an argument about pork skins.
Melvin Lewis Brown Jr., 33, was found guilty by a Clarke County Superior Court jury of malice murder for the 2014 shooting death of 24-year-old Javious Cordez Tucker and was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Brown appealed on the grounds he received ineffective counsel from his attorney and the trial judge erred in allowing certain evidence to be admitted and failed to properly instruct jurors on a possible self-defense verdict.
All justices concurred when affirming Brown’s conviction in an opinion released Monday.
According to police and court records, the fatal shooting happened the afternoon of Super Bowl Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014, on Lombardy Circle, where Brown’s aunt lived. The aunt had been dating Tucker’s father for several years.
Brown went to the house where Tucker and others had gathered to watch the football game and an argument ensued and escalated when Brown refused to share his pork skins with Tucker, records noted.
After others intervened to break up the fight, Brown walked down the street to go to another house and Tucker followed in his car and re-engaged Brown in the argument. Tucker then got a tire iron from the vehicle’s trunk and waved it “in a menacing manner,” according to records.
Brown claimed he walked away to put distance between himself and Tucker and retrieved a pistol from his car. As Tucker’s vehicle approached, Brown shot into Tucker’s car nine times, striking the victim seven times, killing him at the scene and injuring a second occupant, records state.
Brown, a convicted felon, used a gun that he stole from his brother.
Brown fled after the shooting, but was arrested two days later in Gwinnett County, disguised as a woman.
“Javious Tucker didn’t deserve to die over a bag of pork skins. I am thankful that Mr. Brown has been held accountable, and it is my hope and prayer that the Georgia Supreme Court’s ruling brings some measure of closure to Mr. Tucker’s family and friends,” said acting Western Judicial Circuit District Attorney Brian Patterson.