NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Thanksgiving is a haunting reminder for a Norfolk family that they lost a loved one to a killer’s bullet. Troy Brown was shot dead in Tidewater Gardens back in 2005.
Police made an arrest, and a jury reached a guilty verdict, but the verdict didn’t stick.
So for Brown’s family, justice remains incomplete.
Brown was robbed and shot three times that night in June 2005. He was able to stagger back to his girlfriend’s apartment on Walke Street and died on her kitchen floor.
Brown’s mother Lois recalls that night when she got a call to rush to the hospital. “I’m his mother, I gave birth to him, so I’ll be the one to go in there to identify him,” she recalled saying to doctors.
Brown remembers how the family’s Thanksgiving used to be, when Troy was still alive.
“He made sure that he would eat with us and spend time with us.”
Norfolk police made an arrest — Justin Little, who was just 15 at the time. He was tried as an adult in 2008 and convicted of murder. The key witness was Little’s cellmate at the Hampton Roads Regional Jail.
Then a letter emerged shortly after the verdict. In it, Little’s cellmate threatened Little in writing “you’re my enemy” and “I beat the [expletive]
Judge Charles Poston said that would have been valuable information to the defense, and set aside Little’s verdict.
“There’s more to it than just (the letter),” said Brown’s sister Monique Green.
Prosecutors say Little was trying to earn his stripes as a gang member of the Bloods. Troy Brown’s family believes Justin Little took orders from others who might have ordered Brown’s killing.
In the meantime, his sister tries to remember happier times.
“I miss my brother a lot, Every now and then I find myself talking to his picture, telling him how much I miss him. If I go past the cemetery I say ‘hey, bro.'”
The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office says the Brown murder is an open case that gets periodic review for any new leads. A spokeswoman says Little is serving nearly 40 years in prison for drug crimes committed since his release in the Brown case.