Trial begins for gang member murdered for robbing his own gang

October 2, 2017 By Paul Frangipane Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Opening statements for the trial of Reginald Brown, charged with murder, began at Brooklyn Supreme Court. Eagle file photo by Rob Abruzzese
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Opening statements began on Monday in the trial of an alleged Brooklyn gang member accused of murdering his friend and fellow alleged gang member for stealing from the gang.

“The saddest thing about betraying is that it never comes from your enemies,” Assistant District Attorney Owen Sucoff told 16 jurors at Brooklyn Supreme Court.

Reginald Brown, 29, is charged with second-degree murder, manslaughter and gun possession for allegedly shooting at a 19-year-old Derron Clarke five times, killing him with a fatal shot to the neck, prosecutors said.

Clarke and Brown were allegedly members of the Gangster Disciples gang.

Clarke was caught stealing money and drugs from gang members when Brown killed him on Nov. 7, 2010, prosecutors said.

Clarke’s mother sobbed and briefly left the courtroom when Sucoff detailed her son’s murder.

“The defendant took the gun and he fired again, and he fired again, and he fired again and he fried again,” Sucoff said.

Police rushed to the scene at 1404 East 48th St. by Avenues J and K in Flatlands, but prosecutors said Brown was already partying in a nearby club.

“They found Derron … laying in a pool of his own blood,” Sucoff said.

Defense attorney Samuel Karliner said the only thing he and the prosecutors agree on is that Clarke was murdered.

“Reggie Brown is saying, ‘I am not guilty. Government, prove it!’” Karliner told jurors.

Karliner said the jurors will see gaps in evidence and that expected government testimonies from Brown’s former girlfriend and fellow alleged gang member would be unbelievable.

Clarke’s mother shook her head as Karliner dished out his opening argument while pacing around the room.

Sucoff said that a fellow gang member originally brought the idea of Clarke getting “dealt with.”

That member is expected to testify in the trial.

The case went cold for two years until a detective tracked down witnesses and police eventually made Brown’s arrest on April 28, 2015, prosecutors said.

Brown faces a maximum of life in prison if convicted on the top charge.

The trial will continue on Tuesday.


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