Braylon Ellis kills Tommy Brown with a toilet seat
Tommy Brown thought Cristina Rodriguez was pregnant with his child. Her other friend thought the baby was actually his. Both men were wrong – and one died.
Tommy Lee Brown grew up in Fort Worth, Texas and worked in his father’s janitorial service after high school and later took over the business. IIn 2004, Tommy began a relationship with colleague Connie Moreno. Despite being together for nearly a decade, their domestic happiness was disrupted by frequent breakups.
“He was really in love with Connie and really wanted a life with Connie,” Sister Andrea Brown told Snapped, which airs Sunday at the 6 / 5c on oxygen. But above all, Tommy wanted children. In the spring of 2013, Tommy and Moreno hired a surrogate mother to give birth to Tommy’s child. However, before the child’s arrival, the couple separated again.
His dreams of having a child would never come true. On September 7, 2013, Andrea went to Tommy’s home after not hearing from him for several days, which was unusual. He didn’t answer the door, so she let herself in with a spare key he kept in the mailbox. When she entered, she saw her brother lying on the floor and called 911.
When investigators arrived, they found Tommy Brown, 51, lying face down in a hallway outside the bathroom. He had been dead for several days. Plastic bags were taped around Tommy’s neck and his hands were tied behind his back with a shoelace. He had multiple blunt trauma to his head and nine broken ribs Court documents.
âHe had bruises and bruises all over his body. Part of his head was split open. I mean, his face looked like he’d had an argument with Mike Tyson. It was one of the most brutal beatings I have ever seen, âsaid prosecutor Bill Vassar toâ Snapped â.
Pieces of china were found on the floor around Tommy and two distinct shoe prints were identified in the dried blood on the floor. Still, tooThe killer had tried to clean up behind him. Bleach had been poured on Tommy’s body.
There were no signs of forced entry, although several items were missing from the apartment. That included a TV, Tommy ‘s wallet, his car keys and his truck.
“My first feeling was that this was someone he allowed into his house, so we had a feeling that our suspect or suspects would likely be someone he knew,” Fort Worth police detective Matthew Barron told the producer.
Tommy’s missing truck matched a vehicle that had driven into a nearby grocery store the day before and had been confiscated. On the back of the truck was a garbage can with bloody objects and broken pieces of china that matched the ones on the floor of Tommy’s house. They discovered that the parts were once part of a toilet tank lid.
Investigators interviewed Andrea and learned that her brother was juggling two women at the same time. In addition to Connie Moreno, Tommy had a new girlfriend named Cristina Rodriguez. Tommy and Rodriguez became pen pals while she was incarcerated. In 2002 she was sentenced to 10 years in prison for aggravated robbery, according to a 2017 The Dallas Morning News Report.
The incident came when Rodriguez was responding to an ad for a domestic help for an 82-year-old man. At the end of their first day at work, the man panicked and called his daughters.
âWhen the two daughters arrive, he was handcuffed with a telephone cord, attacked and the house was ransacked. That’s what Cristina did, âsaid Vassar toâ Snapped â.
While in prison, Rodriguez corresponded with both Tommy and Moreno and eventually agreed to have a baby for the couple. If she was In 2011, she was released early and traveled to Fort Worth to visit Tommy, usually when he and Moreno were in the middle of one of their frequent breakups.
In the spring of 2013, Rodriguez told Tommy that she was pregnant with his child. As with Moreno, their relationship was full of drama. In August 2013, Tommy even filed a police report claiming Rodriguez had taken his wallet and television.
While investigators were interviewing Andrea and learning all about Rodriguez, she received a text message from someone pretending to be her brother.
âHe says, ‘Hey, I’m going to El Paso. My girlfriend is pregnant. What do you want?’ I asked Andrea to text his phone and say, ‘Hey, it’s no problem, just give me a call when you get back from El Paso,’ “Fort Worth Police Detective Thomas O’Brien told the producer.
Another important lead came when one of Tommy’s neighbors reported seeing a man and a woman enter Tommy’s house two days earlier. The man was a black man with long hair. The woman was stocky and Hispanic. The description was consistent with Cristina Rodriguez.
Detectives also learned that Tommy’s bank debit card was lost on the morning of Jan.
âWe see a tall black man walking into the shop with a bandage wrapped around his hand. That was also in line with our crime scene and our belief that someone was injured at the scene, âBarron said.
The same person was filmed with Tommy’s card in a Dollar General Store accompanied by Rodriguez.
On September 9, Tommy’s colleague Deboragh Grimes also received a text message from someone pretending to be Tommy. It said: “My girl is in the hospital and I have little money, can I borrow some money anyway”, so Court documents.
The text messages claimed Tommy had lost his wallet and asked that the money be sent through MoneyGram to a man named Braylon Ellis.
The US Marshals Service traced Tommy’s cell phone to a house in Snellville, Georgia, northeast of Atlanta. The house belonged to Ellis’ mother. Ellis and Rodriguez were arrested there on September 10, 2016. Tommy’s cell phone was found in the house while his wallet was in her car.
Rodriguez immediately invoked her right to a lawyer, but Ellis agreed to speak to detectives. He claimed he met Rodriguez in early 2013 and moved in with her in March. He said he loved Rodriguez and she was pregnant with his child.
In fact, Rodriguez was not pregnant with either man’s child. âIt turned out that this was just a big scam. She was never pregnant, “O’Brien told the producers.
In March 2016, Braylon Dominique Ellis was charged with the murder of Tommy Brown. According to court records, he was found guilty of murder and sentenced to life in prison.
When Rodriguez was tried 10 months later, Ellis testified against her. Ellis said Rodriguez claimed Tommy molested her, so the two drove on Nov. [Tommy] up “and” take [Tommy’s] Things “so Court documents. Rodriguez used Tommy’s spare keys to sneak into his house. Ellis hid in the bathroom and reached for the toilet tank lid to use as a weapon.
When Tommy got home, Ellis hit him on the head with the toilet tank lid and hit Tommy until he fell to the floor, according to court records.
âTommy is on the floor. He gasps for air. Cristina comes in, hands [Ellis] takes a pot from the kitchen and says, “Here, take this,” and so he hits him on the head two or three times with the pot. Then he put the bag over Tommy’s head, âVassar said toâ Snapped â.
On January 30, 2017, Rodriguez was found guilty of the crime of murder and sentenced to life in prison Fort Worth Star Telegram reported. Both Rodriguez and Ellis can be paroled in 2043.
For more information on this and similar cases, see “Snapped” which is airing Sunday at the 6 / 5c on oxygen or stream episodes here.