PRESS RELEASE by Mark Haby, Medina County Criminal District Attorney
A 19-YEAR-OLD SAN ANTONIO MAN WAS SENTENCED TO 30 YEARS IN PRISON FOR THE MURDER OF ELIJAI ALTON CHANDLER AFTER A MEDINA COUNTY JURY REJECTED HIS CLAIM OF SELF-DEFENSE.
Jeremiah Jordan Brown
Jeremiah Jordan Brown, who was 17 at the time of the murder, was with the 24-year-old victim during a shooting at an East-Side Valero Gas station in the early hours of February 6th, 2022, in which one man was wounded and taken to the hospital, though he did survive his injuries. Brown and the victim immediately fled the area until they found a dark service road in Castroville, Texas, where they then attempted to dispose of and bury the gun used in that earlier shooting.
Testimony from the forensic pathologist who conducted the autopsy revealed that the victim had been shot in the head seven times with no evidence of defensive wounds. Brown fled the scene in the victim’s car, taking the gun with him and ultimately disposing of it, resulting in additional charges for Tampering with Physical Evidence and Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle.
The Texas Rangers were called in to investigate the discovery of the victim’s body, which was found by a hiker less than 100 yards from Highway 90 and just down the hill from the well-known Hillside Boutique & Spa. Through an investigation involving numerous interviews & review of cell phone evidence that lasted more than 30 straight hours, investigators identified Jeremiah Brown as the shooter. Both in his interview with the Rangers, as well as at trial, Brown and his defense team claimed he acted in self-defense, arguing that he was acting in “sudden passion” after seeing his biological sister’s new boyfriend get shot at the San Antonio area gas station. Evidence from Brown’s cell phone, as well as interviews with family members who saw Brown after the shooting, revealed that he sought to avoid being tied to the first shooting, telling others that he didn’t know where the victim was and that he had last seen him when he abandoned him at a convenience store.
After three full days of testimony, the jury deliberated on Brown’s guilt for less than two hours on Friday, August 11th, swiftly rejecting his claim of self-defense. The court immediately moved to the punishment phase, which concluded on Monday, August 14th. Brown was sentenced to 30 years for Murder, 10 years for Tampering with Physical Evidence (the maximum allowed by law), and 2 years for Unauthorized Use of a Vehicle (also the maximum allowed by law). Brown must serve half his sentence before he is eligible for parole.
“Our community has begun to feel the effects of crime spilling over from San Antonio, and this verdict sends a strong message to any would be criminals that they will be held accountable” said District Attorney Mark P. Haby.
The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorneys Christian Neumann & Jeff Diles, while Brown was represented by the Hill Country Regional Public Defender’s Office.