UPDATE: Judge denies mistrial motion in taxi driver murder trial

O'Bryan Brandy
Posted at 12:00 PM, Mar 20, 2013
and last updated 2013-03-20 08:55:54-04

UPDATE: March 20, 2013 12:00 PM
The judge presiding over the trial of a man accused of murdering a Tallahassee taxi driver has denied a motion for a mistrial.

The defense attorney for the first of four suspects accused of murdering and robbing O'Bryan Brandy, a taxi driver and former FAMU football player, submitted the motion on Wednesday. Prosecutors say the suspect, Nelson Alexander, and three others robbed Brandy, then fatally shot him in 2011.

The attorney said the jury was tainted by a certain testimony.

Later this afternoon, Co-defendant Davin Bowers will testify.

A reporter is in the courtroom, and we will have an update from the trial on Bounce News at 7.


UPDATE: March 19, 2013 6:39 p.m.
A man accused of murdering a taxi cab driver is now on trial.

Prosecutors say Nelson Alexander and three others robbed O'Bryan Brandy, then fatally shot him in 2011.

Jurors heard opening statements Tuesday.

The state also called on several witnesses including one of the defendant's girlfriends, who then were then cross-examined.

This is Whitney Hodges who says she lived at a home on Laura Lee Avenue .

Hodges says on October 29,2011 around 2:30 a.m. her boyfriend Derrick Butler, Nelson Alexander who's on trial, and two others showed up at her home, allegedly after the murder.

Prosectors also showed jurors a lot of evidence including video of Hodges' home and photos of the taxi cab O'Bryan Brandy was found dead in.

Trial continues Wednesday inside the Leon County Courthouse.

March 15, 2013 5:30 p.m.
Jurors will be selected Monday for the trial against the first of four men charged with the murder of a Tallahassee taxi driver.

Nelson Alexander is the first to stand trial. He along with three others, Derrick Butler, Davin Bowers and Deondre Handsford are facing murder and robbery charges.

Investigators say the four men robbed and fatally shot O'Bryan Brandy on October 29, 2011.

Tallahassee Police Officers say Brandy, a former Florida A&M University football player, was working as a driver for a local taxi company. Investigators say on October 29, 2011, Brandy was dispatched to a call on Idlewild Drive. Prosecutors say the Butler, Bowers, Alexander, and Handsford conspired together to call the taxi there with the intention of robbing the driver.

According to the arrest affidavit, all four gave their accounts of what happened in the affidavit. While they were together, a plan was made to rob Brandy's cab.

While giving their accounts of what happened, Butler, Bowers, and Alexander's stories all point to Handsford as the person who shot Brandy. Handsford's testimony says that he wasn't present for the murder, but that he was at the Laura Lee Avenue residence during the time of the murder. When his story didn't match the others, the affidavit says he ended the interview and asked for an attorney.

Police say that Handsford is a convicted felon, and has previously been adjudicated guilty of several crimes.

During a funeral service in his hometown of Macon, Mississippi, friends and fellow team mates of Brandy remembered him as a person who lived life to the fullest.

"He could keep me laughing for days," Sammy Doughty, a former FAMU football teammate of Brandy's, said. "We played together in the Mississippi-Alabama All-Star game. He would never let me forget about Columbus not beating Noxubee County."

Among those Brandy leaves behind is his wife, Chimere Brandy, and three children: Aaliyah Brandy, of Macon, and O'Bryan and O'Breana Brandy, of Tallahassee.

A fund has been set up at any Bank of America location and will directly support his widow, Chimere Brandy, and his children. Weekly and monthly donations are accepted. The account number is #898047069711.

Deondre Handsford is scheduled to go to trial April 29. No trial has been scheduled yet for Davin Bowers or Derrick Butler.