Iowa City Murder Suspect Arrested in Illinois, Waives Extradition

By Vanessa Miller, Reporter


By Kara Kelly

IOW CITY, Iowa - A 27-year-old Illinois man accused of gunning down a City High graduate in Iowa City in June was arrested Tuesday night at a friend’s house south of Chicago, where authorities found him sitting on a couch, watching TV.

Brandon D. Brown, of Lansing, Ill., did not try to resist arrest when Cook County authorities took him into custody on a first-degree murder warrant in connection with the June 21 shooting of Donelle Derrel Lindsey, 30, of Iowa City, according to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office.

Authorities in Cook County, Ill., tracked Brown to one of his close friends’ home in South Holland after receiving a tip that he was in the area, according to Cook County sheriff’s spokeswoman Eleni Demertzis.

Investigators about 9:30 p.m. Tuesday identified Brown through a basement window, sitting on a couch and watching TV, and they arrested him “without incident,” according to Demertzis. He was booked into a Cook County correctional holding facility and appeared in a Cook County courtroom Wednesday morning, where he waived extradition – meaning he agreed to be brought back to Johnson County to face the murder charge.

Brown was not transported to the Johnson County Jail on Wednesday, according to Johnson County sheriff’s Lt. Kevin Bell. The transport will happen “sooner than later,” Bell said, declining to discuss specifics about when he’ll be moved because of security concerns.

Investigators with the Iowa City Police Department and the Iowa Division of Criminal Investigation went to Illinois after Brown’s arrest Tuesday to try and talk with him, according to Iowa City police Sgt. Denise Brotherton.

Details of what they learned and whether they searched his home and found any evidence have not been made public.

According to the Cook County Sheriff’s Office, Brown has 11 prior arrests between December 2002 and September in 2009. All of the charges came in Harvey, Ill., a community near South Holland and Lansing. The charges include multiple domestic batteries, assaults, fleeing police and drug charges.

Brown does not have a criminal record in Johnson County. Brown does not have a bond set in his case yet because extradition is pending. His warrant was issued with a $1 million cash-only bond after authorities said he fled the scene of the crime in west Iowa City and left the state to avoid apprehension.

Witnesses who were at the scene of the crime June 21 told investigators that they saw Brown ask Lindsey to walk down the street with him at 11:26 p.m. They reported seeing the men start to argue and then watched as Brown produced a handgun and shot Lindsey multiple times at a relatively close range, according to police.

Emergency personnel were called to 2437 Petsel Place, the site of the shooting, and they rushed Lindsey to the University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics, where he was pronounced dead. Brown was last seen running from the area, according to police.

One of the witnesses who talked with investigators is an acquaintance of Brown, and other witnesses positively identified Brown as the shooter in a photo lineup, police reported.

Tori Cleggett, who told The Gazette that he ran outside his apartment after hearing the shots and watched his friend die in his arms, said he doesn’t know the man who shot Lindsey. Cleggett said he doesn’t know why his friend is dead.

“I can’t really think about it,” he told The Gazette after the shooting. “It’s just sad, that’s all.”

Lindsey moved to Iowa City from Chicago at age 8 and graduated from City High in 2000, according to his obituary. Family members wrote that he was “a very special person who had love for everyone and was loved by everyone.”

“He loved to party, dance and have a good time,” according to the obituary. “He loved all the kids and will truly be missed.”
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