‘I didn’t want to die’: Warren found guilty in murder of slain Perry teen
PERRY, Ga.-- On Wednesday, the murder trial of Brandon Warren continued into its second day with state prosecutors resting their case on Tuesday afternoon. Warren -- one of two teenagers charged in the October 2016 murder of Perry High School graduate Sam Poss -- was found guilty on all six of the state's indictments, including felony murder and malice murder.
Warren was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Warren’s defense attorney Jeffrey Grube began by calling Warren to the stand to testify in his own defense.
During Warren's testimony which lasted just under 90 minutes, Warren replayed the night of events which lead to Poss' murder. He told jurors that on the night in question, he was under the impression that he and co-defendant Dakota White would just hang out after Warren had finished working his shift at an area Mc Donald's restaurant.
Warren said, White had often joked about killing someone but on the night in question, he knew White was serious about killing.
“I didn’t want to die,” Warren tearfully told jurors during his testimony, who added that’s why he never got out of the car to run. Warren said, he didn’t know where he was in the middle of the night, so he didn't know where to find help.
During his testimony, Warren told jurors that after he and White picked Sam Poss up from home, he drove very slow in the middle of the road with the car's headlights on high beam, hoping to get someone's attention.
In his cross examination, Assistant D.A. Greg Winters said Warren had talked about killing in the past and referred back to the letter Warren wrote to his dad from jail. In the letter Warren said Dakota White was the only person to treat him right and treat him as a friend. Warren's attorney described him as a "meek and mild" young man, one who was enamored with Dakota White.
Winters pointed out DNA evidence that experts found Warren’s DNA on the knife used to kill Poss, while Dakota White's DNA was not on the murder weapon.
In the letter Warren wrote to his parents while in jail, he said, “It was either me or him.” referring to Poss. “I knew If I ran or (expletive) with his plan, it would be my life” I obeyed".
Warren told prosecutors there are portions of the letter he didn't remember writing. However, prosecutors say he did in fact write the letter he wrote to his family, which was intercepted by the jail and turned over to state prosecutors.
In his closing arguments, Warren's attorney Jeffrey Grube insisted that Dakota White is a liar and a calculated killer who had even gone as far as using Google to research his potential maximum punishment for murder. Grube said, it was White who "exclusively killed Sam Poss" and needed no one else's help to carryout Poss' Murder. He insisted that Warren was not a willing participant.
Jurors began their deliberations just before 2 p.m. After roughly 40 minutes, they indicated they needed to have Judge Edward Lukemier re-instruct them on the requirements surrounding the charge of malice murder.
Jurors reached a verdict shortly after 3 p.m. and found Brandon Warren guilty on all six counts of the state's indictment. He faced charges of felony murder, malice murder, two counts of aggravated assault, concealing a death and tampering with evidence.
Dakota White was convicted a week prior to Warren's trial.