Falana Young-Wyatt is tired of the attention cast upon the man accused of killing her son, Dwone Anderson-Young, near their Leschi home last summer. Ali Muhammad Brown faces a terrorism charge in New Jersey.
Falana Young-Wyatt has grown tired of the media attention focused on the man accused of killing her son, Dwone Anderson-Young, steps from their Leschi home last year.
Since the 23-year-old’s body was found in the street on 29th Avenue South on June 1, 2014, Young-Wyatt has spent her free time tending to a modest memorial created for her son. When the grief becomes unbearable, she goes into Anderson-Young’s bedroom — left exactly the way he left it — and comforts herself with his scent on his clothes, she says.
Meanwhile, the alleged killer sits in a jail in New Jersey, where he is facing a nine-count indictment stemming from the slaying of a college student-athlete about three weeks after Anderson-Young’s homicide. The suspect, a Seattle man, made national headlines earlier this month when a New Jersey grand jury indicted him on a rarely used state-level terrorism charge.
New Jersey prosecutors allege Ali Muhammad Brown, who described himself to detectives as a strict Muslim, killed 19-year-old Brendan Tevlin because he was angry with the U.S. government’s role in the Middle East. Brown allegedly claimed he also killed Anderson-Young and two other men in the Seattle area as an act of “vengeance” for innocent lives lost in Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria and Iran.
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“All these lives are taken every single day by America, by this government. So a life for a life,” Brown told investigators, according to court documents.
Police say he fled to New Jersey after killing Dwone Anderson-Young and his friend, Ahmed Said, 27, in Seattle, and Leroy Henderson, 30, in Skyway.
When Brown, 30, was arrested in July 2014 in a makeshift tent in New Jersey, he was found with the handgun used in all four slayings, police say. While Brown could face the death penalty for the King County homicides, it’s anyone’s guess when he will be returned here for prosecution.
Dan Donohoe, spokesman for the King County Prosecutor’s Office, said they anticipate Brown won’t be extradited to Seattle until his case is tried in New Jersey.
Katherine Carter, spokeswoman for the Essex County Prosecutor’s Office in New Jersey, said, “Right now we’re proceeding like he will be tried [in New Jersey] first.”
“As we say, ‘We have the body,’ so the first trial will be in New Jersey. They’ve made no request to extradite him,” Carter said, referring to the King County Prosecutor’s Office. She said a trial date has not been set.
If Brown is convicted in New Jersey, the maximum sentence he would face is life in prison, Carter said. The state has abolished the death penalty.
In King County, he is charged with three counts of aggravated murder, making it a potential death-penalty case. Prosecutor Dan Satterberg has not yet filed a notice that his office will seek a death sentence.
Gary Davis, one of Brown’s two court-appointed King County public defenders, said he and co-counsel Kevin Dolan are proceeding as if it’s a death-penalty case “because we don’t have any information to contradict that.”
In charging documents, Senior Deputy Prosecutor Wyman Yip called the three King County slayings “extremely violent, senseless and seemingly unprovoked.”
Young-Wyatt said she believes her son and his friend Said were shot to death because they were gay.
“These two murders in Seattle were hate crimes,” she said.
4 killings in 3 months
Said was driving Anderson-Young home from R Place, a gay club on Capitol Hill, when they were shot. Brown had reportedly met up with Said over a gay social-networking app, connected with the two men outside the club that night and got into Said’s car, according to charges.
“The murders took place less than 17 minutes after two witnesses saw Ali Brown leave with the victims in Said’s car. There is no evidence to suggest that Said and/or Anderson-Young were armed, and these murders do not appear to be motivated by robbery, drugs or any other crime,” Seattle police Detective Cloyd Steiger wrote in investigative documents.
After the two men were slain, Seattle police and Mayor Ed Murray held a news conference condemning the killings. At the same news conference, Seattle police said they had not ruled out the idea that Anderson-Young and Said were killed because of their sexual orientation.
Brown is believed to have fled to New Jersey days after the shootings.
He is accused of killing Tevlin on June 25.
After Brown’s arrest in New Jersey, King County sheriff’s deputies linked him to the third homicide case in Skyway. He is accused of fatally shooting Leroy Henderson shortly after 11:45 p.m. on April 27, 2014, as Henderson was walking home from a nearby store. Deputies linked Brown to the slaying through the 9-mm bullets and casings found in and around Henderson’s body.
Davis, Brown’s attorney in Seattle, said that after talking to Brown and his lawyer in New Jersey, he doesn’t believe the Seattle killings were “a hate crime against the gay community.”
“It’s a little more complicated than that,” Davis said. “We don’t know anything about his psychological makeup.” Davis declined to elaborate.
Brown is a convicted sex offender who served a year in jail after pleading guilty in 2012 to communication with a minor for immoral purposes. He also served federal prison time for conspiracy to commit bank fraud in connection with a plot to defraud several banks.
In that case, between January 2002 and November 2004, Brown and three other men defrauded several banks by depositing counterfeit and fake checks then withdrawing funds before the checks were returned, according to charging documents filed in U.S. District Court in Seattle.
Authorities suspected that the men were sending money to support terrorism overseas. Terrorism charges were never sought.
Falana Young-Wyatt, 40, said she doesn’t feel strongly about whether Brown should be condemned to death row. Young-Wyatt, who works for the University of Washington, said the only thing she cares about is his swift return to King County to face trial.
“I want him to look me in the face,” she said. “I want him to know my son’s life matters. I just want justice for my son.”