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Test Pushdown

Family of murder victim does not feel new trail is warranted for Braseel

Posted on Wednesday, March 27, 2019 at 8:31 am

In response to new evidence introduced in the Malcolm Burrows’ murder case, Burrows’ great-nephew Kirby Crabtree this week released a response from the Burrows’ family. Crabtree states that the lives of his family were altered on the night of Burrows’ murder, January 7, 2006.

“Our lives were forever changed when we received the gut-wrenching news that our loved one, Malcolm Burrows, was found brutally murdered by way of blunt force trauma (beaten to death) not far from his residence on Melissa Rock Road in Tracy City,” says Crabtree. “We also learned that his sister Becky Hill was brutally assaulted and left for dead as well.”

Crabtree goes on to explain the attack of Hill, stating that her son Kirk Braden “entered the kitchen area of the house where he witnessed an individual standing over his mother and savagely attacking her.” Crabtree says Braden was able to knock the assailant off of his mother at which time the assailant fled the home.

In his retort, Crabtree names Adam Braseel as the “perpetrator of this cruel and vicious act of barbarism.”

Adam Braseel

Braseel, found guilty of the murder of Burrows in 2007, is currently in prison and will not be eligible for parole until 2063. However, attorneys for Braseel have filed a new petition that states evidence used in the original trial was weak and that new evidence, including DNA fingerprint evidence, reveals a different suspect in the murder of Burrows. Braseel will appear before Judge Justin Angel on June 26, to determine if the newly-released evidence warrants a new trail.

Should there be a new trial?

Crabtree does not feel a new trial is justified.

“Our family has always been totally satisfied that the right man in this case was correctly identified, that he received a fair trial, and that justice was served with the right man being convicted and imprisoned for these crimes,” Kirby states. “What’s more, our family is in no way concerned that the so-called ‘new evidence’ in this case will be enough to either exonerate or grant Mr. Braseel a new trial.”

After the murder, both Hill and Braden identified Braseel in a photo lineup.

“When Becky was alive, she never once expressed even a hint of doubt that she identified the right man whom she had ample time to get a good look at, and even briefly converse with before the ruthless assault began,” says Crabtree. “Kirk has likewise never expressed any doubt that he positively identified the right man.”

Crabtree says in his release that in a statement published in Knoxville News Sentinel, in 2017, Braseel claimed that everyone in Grundy County knew he was innocent.

“We beg to differ,” says Crabtree. “There is at least one family in Grundy County that is completely certain of his guilt regarding these awful and particularly cruel crimes that he was accused and convicted of over twelve years ago.”

Braseel and his family have claimed his innocence from 2006 and continue to fight for his exoneration. Braseel’s sister addressed the introduction of new evidence in the case in February. She said the new person of interest in the case, Kermit Bryson, identified by fingerprint DNA, should have been considered all along as a suspect.

Sheriff does not assign guilt or innocence

Grundy County Sheriff Clint Shrum

Last week, Grundy County Sheriff Clint Shrum stated that the new fingerprint evidence could play a pivotal role in Judge Angel’s decision to grant Braseel and new trial. Sheriff Shrum made it clear that he was not commenting on the guilt or innocence of any party when he stated, “Do I think the fingerprint evidence as it relates to Kermit Bryson is very significant? Absolutely. I also believe had this evidence been introduced during the trial that it could have caused reasonable doubt.”

Shrum, in his statement, went on to say that the previous evidence in the trial should be revisited, along with any evidence not brought forth or presented in the original trial.

“If the totality of all the evidence still speaks to the guilt of Adam Braseel, then let it be,” said Sheriff Shrum. “If it does not, then let him go.”

“We may never know”

Crabtree feels his family may never know the whole story.

“We may never know all the details concerning what transpired on that January evening to those whom we love deeply,” says Crabtree. “But, what our family does know to be a fact is that Mr. Braseel was most definitely involved in the brutal murder and attempted murder of our loved ones, Malcolm and Becky. It is also the sincerest hope of our family that Mr. Braseel will someday break his silence and reveal all of what he knows regarding that night.”

STATEMENT FROM THE BURROWS FAMILY REGARDING NEW EVIDENCE IN THE BRASEEL CASE

(Statement provided by Kirby Crabtree and is published in its entirity)

Becky Hill

Malcolm Burrows

“I am the great nephew of the late Malcolm F. Burrows and Becky (Burrows) Hill of Grundy County. I am writing this statement on behalf of our family regarding the ‘new evidence’ in the Braseel. case.

“On the cold winter’s evening of Saturday, January 7, 2006, our lives were forever changed when we received the gut-wrenching news that our loved one, Malcolm Burrows, was found brutally murdered by way of blunt force trauma (beaten to death) not far from his residence on Melissa Rock Road in Tracy City. We also learned that his sister, Becky Hill, was brutally assaulted and left for dead as well. Becky and her son, Kirk Braden, were living with Malcolm at his residence at the time.

“By what can only be described as an act of God, Becky survived this vicious assualt thanks to the aid of her son, Kirk, who was home sick in bed when he was suddenly woken up by the cries and desperate pleas for help coming from his mother. Kirk entered the kitchen area of the house where he witnessed an individual standing over his mother savagely attacking her. Kirk managed to knock the assailant off his injured, blood-soaked mother, and the assailant quickly fled out of the house.

“The perpetrator of this cruel and vicious act of barbarism was Adam Braseel who Becky and Kirk would later identify in a photo lineup. When Becky was alive, she never once expresses even a hint of doubt that she identified the right man whom she had ample time to get a good look at, and even briefly converse with before the ruthless assualt began upon her life. Kirk has, likewise, never expressed any doubt that he postiviley identified the right man who was brutally attacking his mother that January evening.

“Our family has always been totally satisfied that the right man in the case was correctly identified, that he received a fair trial, and that justice was served with the right man being convicted and imprisoned for these crimes. What’s more, our family is in no way at all concerned that the so-called ‘new evidence’ in this case will be enough to either exonerate or grant Mr. Braseel a new trial. Even if the latter comes to pass (which we highly doubt), we would still in no way be concerned that justice would once again prevail for our family as it did before. 

“During a 2017 statement to a USA TODAY NETWORK Tennessee reporter, Mr. Braseel made the claim that ‘everyone in Grundy County knows I’m innocent.’ Well, we beg to differ, for there is at least one family from Grundy County that is completely certain of his guilt regarding these awful and particularly cruel crimes that he was accused and convivted of over twelve years ago.

“Furthermore, we would like to state that our family holds absolutely ZERO animosity toward the Braseel family; only that we are disappointed and deeply saddened by their  constant and adamant denial that their loved one had anything at all to do with these heinous crimes despite not one, but two eyewitness accounts and the mountain of circumstantial evidence as well. 

“We may never know all the details concerning what transpired on that January evening to those we love dearly, but what our family does know to be a fact is that Mr. Braseel was most definitely involved in the brutal murder and attempted murder of our loved ones, Malcolm and Becky. It is also the sincerest hope of our family that Mr. Braseel will someday break his silence and reveal all of what he knows regarding that night. As John 8:23 states ‘…the truth shall make you free.’

Former Grundy County Sheriff Brent Myers

“Lastly, our family would like to extend our deepest appreciation to the former sheriff of Grundy County, Brent Myers, as well as former T.B.I. investigator Larry Davis and former sheriff’s office chief deputy Lonnie Cleek in the exceptional job that they did regarding this case. We would also like to extend our deepest appreciation to Assistant District Attorney Steve Strain and others from the District Attorney’s Office for all of their hard work and continued efforts in seeing that justice prevail for our family during this difficult and trying time.”

For background detail on the Adam Braseel case please visit the following links:

Sheriff Shrum Addresses New Evidence in Braseel Murder Conviction  

New Evidence Introduced in Burrows’ Murder

Was the Wrong Man Convicted?

Braseel Taken Into Custody

Wait Continues for Braseel

Braseel Released on Bond 8 Years Later 

Braseel Granted New Trial