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    1. #1

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      Oct 2010

      Vincent Edward Brothers - California Death Row

      Earnestine Harper

      Joanie Harper and Marshall James Harper

      Marques Juwan Harper

      Lyndsey Michelle Harper

      Vincent Brothers

      Summary of Offense:

      Convicted and sentenced to death in Mojave County for the July 6, 2003 murders of his wife, Joanie (née Harper), his sons, Marques and Marshall, his daughter, Lyndsey, and his mother-in-law, Earnestine Harper. On May 15, 2007, Brothers was convicted of each of the murders after jurors viewed 1,100 exhibits and heard testimony from 137 witnesses. Brothers is believed to have used a .22-caliber gun and "a stabbing weapon" and his conviction carried the special circumstance of multiple murder. The same jury recommended that the death penalty by lethal injection be imposed on May 29, 2007. On September 27, 2007, the Court sentenced Brothers to death.

    2. #2

      Join Date
      Oct 2010
      April 16, 2008

      A contempt of court inquiry against the lawyers who defended convicted murderer Vincent Brothers is moving to a courthouse in Mojave — at least for now.

      A procedural hearing for defense attorneys Michael Gardina and Anthony Bryan is scheduled for Monday before Judge John Oglesby, said Kern Superior Court Chief Executive Terry McNally.

      The move to Mojave comes two months after San Bernardino County Superior Court Judge Christopher J. Warner disqualified Kern County Superior Court Judge Michael Bush from presiding over the inquiry.

      Bush originated the inquiry at the end of the mass murder trial of Vincent Brothers last September. Bush ordered Gardina and Bryan, who defended Brothers at trial, to show why they should not be held in contempt for their conduct during the trial.

      No contempt charges have been filed against the pair. The purpose of the ongoing inquiry essentially is to determine whether there is cause to go forward beyond the inquiry.

      In court filings, Bush accused the two of improperly questioning his judicial integrity during the trial. In addition, he suggested the defense team possessed evidence that should have been turned over to the court or the prosecution, but was not.

      In opposing court filings, Bryan and Gardina have argued that Bush was “factually inaccurate regarding the actual record of the case.”

      They succeeded in their efforts to move the inquiry out of Judge Bush’s courtroom. Where it goes from here is still uncertain.

      Neither Judge Bush nor the attorneys have agreed to comment beyond their written court filings.

      Last September, a jury convicted Brothers of murdering five members of his family, including his wife, mother-in-law and three children. He is currently on Death Row at San Quentin Prison.
      Posted on: April 04, 2008, 10:45:26 AM
      Deputy District Attorney Lisa S. Green blasted defense attorneys in the Vincent Brothers case for what she called “most abhorrent” abuse of the court process she’s ever seen in her 25 years as a prosecutor.

      She said attorneys Michael Gardina and Anthony Bryan deserve to be sanctioned for their actions.

      It was the most directed attack on the defense that Green has publicly given since Brothers was convicted last year of killing five members of his family.

      Bryan could not be reached for comment. Gardina released a statement via e-mail.

      "I regret that I can not comment on a pending matter at this time. However, I have every reason to believe that these issues will be resolved in our favor supporting our position that the defense acted, at all times, within the law and in the best interest of the client," he said. "As to certain comments by Ms. Green, it only demonstrates her lack of understanding of the law on criminal procedure, as well as, a lack of understanding of the duties and responsibilities of a defense attorney in a capital case."

      A hearing on the trial judge’s motion to hold Gardina and Bryan in contempt will be held June 27 in the Mojave branch of the Kern County Superior Court.

      At issue was the purported alibi for Brothers who testified he was involved in a traffic accident in Columbus, Ohio, at about the time the family members were shot and stabbed to death in Bakersfield.

      The trial judge, Michael Bush, in a contempt allegation, wants to know why the defense attorneys didn’t turn over an accident report they had to the prosecution.

      But Green said Thursday she doesn’t think the defense had an obligation to turn over the accident report.

      Her complaint was that the defense before the trial and during the trial filed motions asking what Green’s office knew of the accident.

      She said she didn’t know anything.

      Shortly after that defense motion, Brothers testified he was driving his rental car in Columbus, Ohio, when he hit a boy on a bicycle.

      In the middle of days of cross examining Brothers when Green sent one more request to Columbus and found out for the first time that another man drove his own car in that crash.

      “That proved to be the undoing of Mr. Brothers,” Green said.

      She said she believed the defense filed motions asking what she knew of the accident so they could determine whether to put Brothers on the stand.

      That other man, Tamba Lebbie, came to Bakersfield after Brothers testified and said he was driving his car when he hit a boy on a bicycle.

      Establishing Brothers lied about the crash was a key to his conviction, Green said.

      Green outlined those events in the trial to about 150 people attending a luncheon of the Rotary Club of Bakersfield.

      She also announced she would be running for district attorney in 2010 when she expects District Attorney Ed Jagels to retire.

      (Source: AP)

    3. #3
      Heidi's Avatar
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      Oct 2010
      Ten year anniversary of the Harper family murders

      It has been ten years since one of the biggest mass murders in Bakersfield history. Vincent Brothers was convicted of killing five members of his own family in their southeast Bakersfield home.

      The family who now owns the home, says there are still reminders of the tragedy, including the past sighting of a spirit of one of the victims.

      Brothers, a former local school vice principal, is on death row for murdering his wife, Joanie Harper, her mother, and the couple's three children on July 6, 2003.

      The murders happened inside the home on 3rd and P Streets.

      Ten years later, the yellow stucco home is filled with pictures of the Palomar family.

      "I never met the family that lived here, but knowing the history, I feel something. It's more of a sadness because they were kids," said Juan Palomar.

      Two years ago, Juan Palomar moved his family from Riverside to Bakersfield to start a new life in the home, where the Harper family was murdered.

      "Once we saw it, we liked it. We didn't care what happened," said Palomar.

      Palomar's 13-year-old daughter, Martha, struggled with the move.

      "I didn't want to move here. I was scared," explained Martha Palomar.

      Her first nights in the house were difficult. "I was just quiet and I wouldn't sleep for three days straight at night," she explained.

      Martha Palomar said she felt the spirit of a young boy. "Something was like on my bed," she continued.

      She never said anything to her family. Her father said he doesn't believe in spirits.

      "We had a priest bless the house, but that's something we would have done anyway," he explained.

      Palomar said ten years later, strangers still stop in front of the home. "Sometimes people pass by the house and they're asking questions about it," he noted.

      He said they are constant reminders of a past his family had no part of, and a tragedy that forever changed the neighborhood.

      Vincent Brothers sits on death row at San Quentin prison. His death sentence was automatically appealed, but a decision is still likely several years away.

      A uninformed opponent is a dangerous opponent.

    4. #4
      Moh's Avatar
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      Oct 2010
      Brothers' opening brief on direct appeal before the California Supreme Court is expected to be filed by May 31, 2014.


    5. #5
      Moh's Avatar
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      Oct 2010
      Initial brief filed in appeal of Vincent Brothers murder case

      Nearly eight years after he was convicted of killing five members of his family and sentenced to the death penalty, the case of Vincent Brothers is headed to appeal.

      Visalia attorney Phillip Cherney filed an opening brief March 19 with the State Appellate Court. All death penalty convictions are appealed by a matter of state law. The Attorney General's office, which will represent the people of California, must now file a response. A spokeswoman for the office declined to comment.

      Brothers, a former Bakersfield school principal, sits on San Quentin's death row for murdering his mother-in-law Ernestine Harper, his wife Joanie Harper, and the couple's three children on July 6, 2003. The murders were committed in cold blood, prosecutor Lisa Green told jurors, with Brothers driving cross-country in a rental car during a trip to Ohio to shoot and slay his entire family in Bakersfield. The motive, Green said, was money: Brothers hoped to start his life anew without alimony or child support payments.

      In the 451-page brief Cherney lays out a host of issues -- many raised during the trial -- to explain why Brothers' conviction should be vacated.

      Chief among them, is the lack of diversity on the jury, Cherney said. In his appellate filing, Cherny complained prosecutor Lisa Green strategically dismissed three potential African American jurors from the pool. The only African American juror who made it to the panel was later kicked off for an undisclosed reason by Judge Michael Bush.

      In the opening brief Cherney calls it systemic discrimination, noting "..the court failed to protect and ensure Brothers' rights to equal protection of the law... and to have a jury drawn from a fair cross-section of the community."

      "This is an area of real concern for an African American being on trial, being judged essentially by an all white jury," Cherney explained in an on-camera interview with 17 News.

      Green said the African American jurors were dismissed for legitimate reasons. At trial, she raised questions about two of the jurors' positions on the death penalty. The third, she said, was an older juror who might have had some difficulties understanding complicated issues brought up in the case.

      "I think it would be a sad state of affairs, if a jury pool has to reflect an ethnic makeup of a community," Green told 17 News in an on-camera interview. "What the goal always is from a prosecutor's perspective is that you find twelve impartial and fair jurors."

      The five-month trial included numerous biting exchanges between Green and Brothers' defense attorney Michael Gardina. It also included whithering cross examination from Green when Brothers took the stand in his own defense. Gardina died due to complications of a brain tumor in March 2011.

      "From what I have read of this record, and have tried myself, there is no question she is a very aggressive prosecutor," Cherney said. "Whether she crossed the line into misconduct is an issue in this case. I think she did."

      "An appellate attorney (like Cherney) is looking for issues to raise on appeal, he's combing the transcripts," Green said. "As I said earlier, it was a five month trial, and I said a lot of things and so did the defense attorneys."

      Putting Brothers on the stand to testify also was a mistake, Cherney said. He plans to file a separate brief indicating Brothers received inadequate legal advice.

      "This was not a case, for example, where somebody is coming at you with a knife and you have to tell the jury what it is you are experiencing, why it is you are acting in self defense," Cherney said. "I think exposing Mr. Brothers to her cross examination presented some significant problems."


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