By: Steve Trubilla
When terror visits a far off place headlines capture our attention. We feel for the innocent and want justice for them. Headlines fade too soon; victims are forgotten. Many of those that survive the brutality too often are forced to live with lifelong injuries. The blinded never more see their children grow. The crippled father is not able to walk his daughter down the aisle on her wedding day. Because of senseless violence grandparents can no longer hold their grandchildren. There are so many stories, every one of them filled with overwhelming heartbreak and pain. Dreams for the future are destroyed. Pages could be filled with examples from all over the country.
Let me bring this closer to home, very close, like the intersection of Tarboro Road and Cedar Creek Road in Youngsville, Franklin County, North Carolina.
At 5 PM on July 2, 2020, James Hunter Murphy, age 19, and a friend were on their way to dinner. On that day, at that time their lives were changed forever by a violent, vicious and unprovoked attack.
Brion Jemod Brodie, age 47, a convicted felon well known to local law enforcement, with an extensive criminal record dating back decades, used the vehicle he was driving to block the intersection stopping the vehicle the couple were in from leaving, and allegedly attacked them.
There is evidence he may have used brass knuckles during the attack. I say allegedly only because that is the way one has to write about these things until the justice system speaks. This said the police report and witness statements are replete with evidence of the attack. Recorded and other statements made by Brodie himself add to the body of evidence.
This brutal attack resulted with James Hunter Murphy being hospitalized with very serious injuries. Those injuries included a fractured orbital (eye socket). Murphy has a lifelong goal and dream of becoming a United States Marine. The realization of this is now very much in question due to his injuries.
The cost of this has many scales of measure. In terms of dollars, medical bills are mounting in the thousands of dollars. The unknown of these injuries could easily range to tens of thousands of dollars, most if not all of this to be paid without reimbursement by the Murphy family.
Brodie is currently being held at Franklin County Detention complex under a $200,000 bond. My information is at 2 PM on Monday August 3, 2020 there will be a hearing. Brodie’s tax payer paid for public defender will seek a bond reduction. I understand that is what he/she is obligated to do.
This said, my information, also, is a recording exists where Brodie asserts when he is released from the Detention Center his intent is to do additional harm. In open court he called out the name of the Murphy’s younger son. I know he did so because I was there when he did it.
Additionally, my information is recordings exist where Brodie has placed calls to the Murphy family over an extended period threatening grave and serious violence. One such alleged threat included the disappearance of one of the Murphy’s sons.
Brodie’s extensive criminal history reflects his propensity for violence. He does more than make threats, he acts on them. In the past he has served time in prison for the violation of a protective order.
His current charges include:
Felony-ASSAULT BY STRANGULATION
Felony-ASSAULT SERIOUS BODILY INJURY
Felony-SECOND DEGREE KIDNAPPING
Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness is a well-known phrase in the United States Declaration of Independence. The phrase is more than the sum of the words. It is the canvas American life is laid upon. Fear and terror denies these "Unalienable rights".
Much is said of law enforcement, and not enough about what they do and risk keeping us all safe. In this they have removed the immediate threat. They did what we ask of them.
Now it falls to the courts. I am cautiously confident of the outcome with this. The evidence is overwhelming. I say cautiously because our court system is overwhelmed, “deals” are made in the interest of expedience. Justice is often but another victim.
When the assigned Judge, Assistant District Attorney, and jury dispatch this, the weight and cost of the now lifelong consequences for James Hunter Murphy should be laid upon the scale.
Consideration of a “deal” must include reflection on so many other deals that have been afforded to Brodie at the expense of other victims; concurrent sentences, early releases, and charges being dismissed.
A focused account for the terror, pain, and fear so many have been forced to endure over decades at the hand of Brion Jemod Brodie is summoned. Let there be resolve without compromise. He has earned a full measure of all the law will allow, let it be paid.