Jurors Watch Brian Brown’s Video Confession
Utica, NY (WIBX) - Jurors watched the video confession of Brian Brown on Wednesday, as the Utica man stands trial this week for two local bank robberies.
On the video, Brown admits to robbing NBT Bank in Rome in July and Bank of America on Mohawk Street in Utica in May.
Regarding the chase that followed and the shooting of Oneida County Sheriff's Deputy Michael Burger, Brown said he fired at the deputy only to scare him and didn't intend to shoot him.
Here are some excerpts of the conversation Brown had with Oneida County Sheriff's Investigators.
Regarding shooting deputy Burger, Brown said he shot at the deputy "...just to scare him, I didn't want to hit him or nothing."
Refering to Burger, Brown asked during the interview, "He didn't get hit did he?"
Brown says after he pulled off the road in Marcy so he could run, he thought deputy Burger was gonna shoot at him. "That's why I started shooting." He estimated Burger fired four or five times. "I wasn't gonna shoot, I kinda just blacked out." Brown estimated that he fired a 'couple' of rounds.
Brown asks again, "[The] cop got shot?"
Later in the interview, refering to the time he spent hiding in the woods near the SUNY IT campus, Brown said, "I could hear people talking and walking past me."
Investigator: "That says something about you...you probably coulda hurt other people, but you didn't."
Investigator: "Where you scared you were gonna get hurt because you shot a cop?"
Brown: "I didn't know I hit him."
Investigator: "How did you get back to Utica?"
Brown said he "cut across the SUNY IT campus," near a sign that read 'Downtown Utica' near the WalMart of off Route 12.
He added that while he hid in the woods he kept his phone off, "...so you couldn't find me."
Investigator: "See, you are smart."
Brown said when he returned to the city he went to a home on Seymour Ave and threw his phone to 'get rid of it.'
The investigator asked Brown is he saw the cops coming just before he was arrested, and whether he planned to run again?
Brown: "I said, na, forget it."
Questions about proceeds from the two robberies.
When asked how much money he stole the NBT robbery, Brown said "Not that much, like 8 or 9."
Investigator: "Eight or nine-thousand?"
When asked how much he gave his cousin Ikiko Brown, the getaway driver, Brown said "...a couple dollars...like 500 or something."
Investigator: "This isn't the first time you did this...banks....it Utica.
Brown: "What banks did I [rob] in Utica?"
Investigator: "It doesn't matter if it's one bank, three banks or five banks. It doesn't carry any more weight." (Refering to the prison sentence for the crimes) "Why not get it all taken care of at once?"
Brown: "I'm gonna get slayed anyway, man."
Investigator: "Give the people at the bank some relief, so they won't think someone is gonna comeback and hurt them."
Brown: "Yeah, I did it."
Investigator: "What bank?"
Investigator: "What bank in Utica? You know, you're a smart man."
Brown: "South Street or something."
Investigator: "What bank are you talking about. There was something else that happened that day. The At&T shooting." (5/27/10, the AT&T shooting and Bank of America robbery occured on the same day)
Brown: "Oh, yeah, someone got killed right?"
When pressed further about this involvement in the Bank of America robbery and how much money was taken, Brown said "I got 10 or 13 (thousand)". Brown said he used the money to pay rent and bought a dog.
Investigators started asking again about the NBT incident and subsequent chase.
Investigator: "[Ikiko Brown] said you said 'I'm gonna shoot him'." The questions dealt with the chase on Route 49 when Ikiko Brown surrended and Brian Brown moved in the driver's seat and 'peeled off.'
Skipping ahead to the exchange of gunfire between Brown and deputy Burger, the investigator asked "Where you gonna kill him if you had to, to get away."
Brown said he blacked out and couldn't remember, adding, "I was trying to get away, he's got to do his job, I got to do mine."
Investigator: "How many banks would say that's you've [robbed]?"
Brown: "Just the ones that you know about." Brown and investigators laugh.
Brown also indicated that he planned to rob the Bank of America branch on Burrstone Road near Notre Dame High School, but never did.
The investigators returned to questioning Brown about the Bank of America hold up on Mohawk Street.
Brown said the bank was busy that day and he sat in the car waiting until all the customers were out of the bank. He said he waited for about ten minutes and decided to rob the bank although there were customers in side because "it was busy that day."
Oneida County Sheriff's Investigator Chris Ferguson was on the witness stand as the video was being played. He was one of the investigators in the room at the time of the interview with Brown.
On cross examiniation he admitted that he never told Brown the interview was being recorded. When asked why, he said it was standard procedure.
Ferguson also admitted to lying to Brown during the interview, in particular, telling Brown that police knew Brown shot at deputy Burger because there were two bullet holes in Burger's car door. On cross examination, he said there were no bullet holes in the deputy's door.
Witness testimony will continue today. Deputy Michael Burger is expected to take the stand, possibly this afternoon.