Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office Objects to the Release of James Brown

The Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office filed an objection with the Ohio Parole Board regarding the upcoming parole hearing of Defendant James Brown. Brown is serving a sentence of 20 years to life in prison for the Aggravated Murder of Terrance Driver and the Attempted Murders of Gregory Hornbuckle and Steve Gardner.

On July 18, 1994, 16-year-old Terrance Driver and 13-year-old Gregory Hornbuckle were standing in front of Terrance’s car in the driveway of 3438 Hudson Avenue home in Youngstown, Ohio. James Brown, then 18 years of age, approached the juveniles because of a disagreement over gang affiliations. Brown shot Terrance in the chest, back, buttocks, and thigh, killing him. Brown also shot Gregory and 11-year-old Steve Gardner, passing by on his bike. Luckily, the shots missed both of those boys, but 16-year-old Terrance wasn’t lucky at all. He was senselessly killed by gun violence on that summer day in 1994. In an interview with police, Brown explained that he killed Terrance because the two disagreed on their gang affiliations. In Defendant’s world, verbal insults over his gang affiliation served as a reason to shoot an unarmed 16-year-old old boy to death.

Brown has also been trouble in the ODRC; he’s been; disciplined numerous times spanning over two decades. He’s been caught disrespecting the staff and establishing an inappropriate relationship with a female employee.

In 2019, Brown was also caught with contraband following time with one of his visitors. Brown’s disregard for rules and laws remains problematic.

Although he has been incarcerated for 27 years, Brown’s crimes demonstrate that he is a danger to society. He shot at three unarmed children, killing one of them with multiple gunshot wounds. It is sheer luck that Defendant did not also kill the 13 and 11-year-old boys he fired his gun.

For all these reasons, the Mahoning County Prosecutor’s Office objected to the release of James Brown for his lack of compassion for others and his willingness to kill a teen and shoot at innocent children over something as insignificant as one’s opinion on a gang. Brown showed that his inability to become a contributing member of society, even behind bars, is troubling. This demonstrates that there does not exist “reasonable ground to believe that * * * paroling [James Brown] would further the interests of justice and be consistent with the welfare and security of society.” R.C. 2967.03.

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