Thirty-one years after the murders of four people inside a southwest Houston home, one of the men convicted of the crime was executed in Huntsville. Arthur Brown, Jr. was one of three men convicted of what was dubbed the “Brownstone Lane Murders.”
Brown maintained his innocence until the very end, yet never acknowledged nor looked at the six family members of the victims who witnessed his execution.
“This is a night that it’s not to be happy and yet we’re still sad because our loved ones are never going to come back,” said Rachel Tovar, who survived the shootings.
In June 1992, six people were bound with bed sheets and shot in the back of the head during what police said was a drug-related robbery. Rachel Tovar’s husband, Jose, her son Frank Farias, her 7-month pregnant daughter-in-law Jessica Quinones and family friend Audrey Brown were killed.
Rachel was also shot in the head but survived, as did another family friend. Rachel identified Brown as one of three men who attacked her family. She said she knew Brown because he bought drugs from her and her husband multiple times.
After a spiritual advisor read a passage from the Book of John, Brown gave a final statement.
“What is occurring here tonight is not justice it is the murder of an innocent man for a murder that occurred in 1992,” Brown said. “Tonight, Texas will kill a second innocent man for a murder that occurred in 1992.”
Brown’s reference to a second innocent man deals with the 2006 execution of his co-defendant Marion Dudley, who was also convicted of these murders. After completing his final statement, lethal drugs were administered at 6:20 pm and Brown was pronounced dead at 6:37 p.m.
Rachel stood firm that Brown is one of the men who attacked her family.
The family of Jessica Quinones also witnessed the execution and sent KPRC 2 a statement reading in part, “Our family is at peace knowing that every doubt has been addressed and every decision has been righteous. We pray that the family of Arthur Brown Jr. will find this peace as well and that the faith of all people in our system of justice will be reaffirmed.”
Harris County District attorney Kim Ogg was not in office when Brown was prosecuted but also witnessed the execution, adding that Brown’s claims of innocence were examined through multiple appeals.
“He has been the beneficiary of the judicial system that bent over backward at the local, state and federal level, all the way to the United States Supreme Court,” said Ogg.
A third man, Anotnia Dunson, was sentenced to life in prison. However, Texas did not have a sentence of life without parole at the time these murders were committed and Texas Department of Criminal Justice records show Dunson will be eligible for parole in 2027.
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