PHOTO: Mug shot of Desmond Lavonta Brown.
Taniesa L. Sullivan | TheWeekly Ledger News | Area News
CENTRE, AL - Desmond Lavonta Brown of Rome, GA has been found guilty in the killing of two Rome, GA half-sisters Vanita Richardson 18, and Truvenia "Bean" Campbell 30 back in May of 2020. The verdict was handed down on Tuesday, November 21, 2023, in the Cherokee County-Ninth Circuit Court of Alabama.
PHOTO: Facebook photo of Vanita Richardson (left) and Truvenia “Bean” Campbell.
On the night of May 12, 2020, three men Christopher Leedarius Pullen, Devin Lashawn Watts, and Desmond Lavonta Brown took the two sisters, who they believed stole Brown’s wallet during a birthday party, for a ride in Richardson’s 1997 gold Toyota Corolla. During an attempt to search the women, Brown shot them both.
The two sisters' bodies — with bags over the victims’ heads — were discovered the next morning, on May 13, 2020, by the Georgia Department of Transportation near the Etowah River when the crew was preparing to do a bridge inspection.
Christopher Pullen has testified against Brown saying he was in the car with the two sisters who were killed. Brown believed that one of the women had stolen his wallet at a party they were all at. Brown, Pullen, and Watts – reportedly invited the women to leave the party and accompany them on a drug deal, which as it turns out, was just a trick to get them into the car.
Brown reportedly pulled over on the way – and asked about the wallet, to which they said, they didn’t know what he was talking about. They got back on the road and Brown stopped again Pullen said Brown grabbed Campbell’s purse, and that he chose to shoot her three times; younger sister Richardson, reportedly handed Brown her purse but was still shot and killed. Pullen said that he didn’t see who shot her.
The Cherokee County District Attorney – Summer McWhorter Summerford – argued detailed evidence against Brown that includes the DNA evidence from both victims that was left in the trunk of Brown's car.
Brown is now facing a term of Life in Prison without Parole or the Death Penalty on the charges of Capital Murder in the case of the killing of the two sisters.
Following the guilty verdict, the jury was instructed to meet after the Thanksgiving Holiday, in order to pass a sentence.
They will deliberate and then make a recommendation to Judge Shaunathan Bell – and the final sentencing decision will then be handed down by him.