Local News

Nephew of slain trooper cheers court ruling on life sentences

Posted August 30, 2010

— The nephew of a state trooper who was killed in 1976 said Monday that the state Supreme Court didn't go far enough in ruling that his uncle's killer remain incarcerated.

Faye Brown is among dozens of inmates sentenced under a 1974 law that defined a life sentence as 80 years. Attorneys for the inmates have argued that the old law, combined with good behavior credits, means their clients' prison terms are complete.

Brown, 57, was convicted in Martin County of murder and sentenced to death after she and two acquaintances robbed a bank and one of the men shot Trooper Guy Thomas Davis Jr. of the state Highway Patrol. Her sentence was eventually commuted to life in prison.

In 5-2 decisions Friday, the Supreme Court ruled that Brown and another inmate cannot use credits for good behavior to shorten their life sentences.

"I was really pleased with the ruling," said Scott Williamson, Davis' nephew.

Williamson said memories of his uncle and how he died remain vivid more than three decades later.

"It was my first real experience with death. It was such a traumatic thing. It is something that stuck with me my whole life," he said.

Although the Supreme Court blocked Brown's release, Williamson said, she still is getting off easy.

Faye Brown Inmates claim they have served 'life' sentences

He noted that she has a full-time job as part of a Department of Correction work-release program and is let out of the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women one weekend a month to visit her family.

"I really don't see that she is really in prison. She not being punished," he said. "I can remember a time that, if you killed a law enforcement officer, you actually got punished for it."

Two of the five Supreme Court justices who ruled that Brown should remain in prison said the decision should be applied to all inmates given life sentences under the 1974 law.

Observers said they expect the issue will be appealed in federal court.

14 Comments

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  • superman Sep 1, 8:42 a.m.

    Is she working in the governors office?

  • lorivalentine1 Aug 31, 5:36 p.m.

    Score one for the good guys... Who in their right mind would really give this murdering piece of dung the opportunity to get out and kill again?!?

  • wildcat Aug 31, 1:46 p.m.

    Well she is not going no where and should realize that she did take a life. Justice here has been served.

  • Lead by Example Aug 31, 11:15 a.m.

    Hopefully the federal courts will not overturn this ruling. I'm glad to see involvement on the part of the family members of the murdered trooper. With any luck perhaps they can keep her from ever getting paroled as well.

  • Vietnam Vet Aug 30, 7:48 p.m.

    Good behavior credits (1), are DOC policy not NC law, (which does make me wonder how DOC can alter a court imposed sentence...but that's another topic) and (2) should not even apply to life sentences. A life sentence is simply that...LIFE!! This isn't rocket science folks. You get out of prison when you stop breathing. Especially in the case of the murder of a LEO! When a criminal murders a LEO who is armed and trained, what do you think these people would do to the rest of us???

  • leo-nc Aug 30, 7:20 p.m.

    She should have been given the sentence that was originally handed down. She makes me sick.

  • kimvian Aug 30, 7:09 p.m.

    *be* sorry for the typo!

  • kimvian Aug 30, 7:06 p.m.

    credits for good beahvior? are we dealing with toddlers in time out or adult criminals? GET FRICKIN REAL!! I bet if we had corporal punishment, our crime rates would drop! i think we should fry them all! our tax dollars are deserved somewhere else rather than taking care of murderers for the next 50 years. most will never bes functional citizens.

  • HardcoreAMERICAN Aug 30, 6:54 p.m.

    What happened to the days when killing a law enforcement officer automatically got you the death penalty? Male or Female, electricute them!!!

  • HardcoreAMERICAN Aug 30, 6:52 p.m.

    What happened to the times when killing a law enforcement officer automatically got you the death penalty? Female or male, you know what you are doing when you kill a law enforcement officer so you should know that you are going to get the chair... or I would prefer a firing squad

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