Mariann Martin, Jackson Sun (Tennessee), November 13, 2009
The daughter of a Jackson man who was doused with alcohol and severely burned last week said the most difficult thing to accept is that one of the men charged in the incident was her father’s friend.
Freddie Jones, 52, is in critical condition, on a ventilator and in a drug-induced coma at the burn unit at the Regional Medical Center in Memphis.
Brian Brawner, 28, Randy Leon Miller, 23, and Sam Edward Stevenson, 44, have each been charged with attempted murder and especially aggravated kidnapping in the incident. The three men are being held on $400,000 bond each.
Jones’ daughter said her dad told her that the men set him on fire because they were afraid Jones “was going to snitch to the police about some gun.”
Jones has been friends with Brawner for three years, the daughter said, and the two men got along well.
Brawner and Stevenson were living in an apartment in the back of the house, while her father lived in the front, she said.
Miller may also have been staying there, she said.
Jones, who suffered burns over a large part of his body, was found around 9:30 a.m. Nov. 3 outside his house in the 100 block of Alexander Street, police have said.
According to an affidavit, Jones told police that Stevenson, Brawner and Miller assaulted him, doused him with alcohol and set him on fire between 11 p.m. and midnight on Nov. 2 inside the house.
Jones also told police that the three men held him against his will and threatened to shoot him if he tried to escape, the affidavit says.
After the three men fell asleep almost 10 hours later, Jones was able to escape, the affidavit says.
Jones’ daughter said two women and another man were also at the house and saw Jones being set on fire. She said one of the women told her that she was afraid to call for help.
“It is just horrible to think what they did,” the daughter said. “I know these people; I would go to the house to check on Daddy and take him his medication.”
An inmate search on the Tennessee Department of Corrections Web site shows Stevenson was on parole until Jan. 31, 2010.
Lt. Tyreece Miller said Stevenson was arrested on an attempted second-degree murder charge in 1995 and aggravated burglary and robbery in 2005.
Brawner was arrested in 2005 for possession of marijuana and crack cocaine, Miller said.
Jones’ daughter is not being identified because of concerns about her safety.