‘Breakdown’ S04, Ep. 5: Devonia Inman gets a new day in court


ADEL — Nearly 13 years had passed since Devonia Inman was convicted in the murder of Taco Bell night manager Donna Brown in Adel. 

At the trial in 2001, Judge Buster McConnell told the attorneys that he’d had five heart attacks. At the hearing on Inman’s motion for a new trial in 2014, McConnell reported that he’d had a sixth, and this time he’d died on the operating table. 

But the judge was back, and so was the Inman case. 

Episode 5 of the AJC’s exclusive podcast, “Breakdown: Murder Below the Gnat Line,” launched early Monday on iTunes, Stitcher and other podcast players. You can also stream it from this page.

The case had not exhausted its share of bombshells, and at least two more would detonate during the hearing on Inman’s motion for a new trial. You’ll hear about both in Episode 5. 

At the hearing, the defense pushed hard on the new DNA evidence it had uncovered: a mask found in the victim’s car had a clear DNA profile on it, and it wasn’t Devonia Inman’s. It belonged to Hercules Brown. A year after Donna Brown was murdered, Hercules Brown beat two people to death with a baseball bat. 

At the trial in 2001, Judge McConnell refused to admit testimony from two people saying Hercules had confessed to them that he’d killed Donna Brown. The judge said he didn’t trust the witnesses and that he needed some other evidence that tied Hercules Brown to the crime. Now he seemed to have it.


Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

At Issue: Should school dress code change to reflect today’s fashion?
At Issue: Should school dress code change to reflect today’s fashion?

To many adults of a certain generation, dressing modestly at school should be a no-brainer. Terms like “individual style” and “fashion tend-setter” weren’t monikers along the lines of “class clown” and “most likely to succeed.” But it’s a different world now. Atlanta Public Schools is considering...
Pressure on drivers puts Medicaid passengers in peril
Pressure on drivers puts Medicaid passengers in peril

The state pays LogistiCare tens of millions of taxpayer dollars a year to make sure frail and elderly Medicaid patients get to their doctors safely and on time. The privatized system is structured so the contractor sets its own rates with subcontractors — the mom-and-pop van companies that push wheelchairs, carry stretchers, lock safety restraints...
Community Voices: ‘Angel of Hope’ brings comfort after baby’s death
Community Voices: ‘Angel of Hope’ brings comfort after baby’s death

Merry Pope of Decatur discovered the need for someone who understands to talk to – someone to share one’s grief – when a certain, not uncommon, tragedy strikes. “You don’t really realize how emotional it is until you go through it yourself,” she said of her three miscarriages. “And there are not a lot of organizations...
Sunday Conversation with Kaymon Sledge

Paradise. That’s how 10-year-old Kaymon Sledge describes the Puerto Rico that he saw during spring break. After Hurricane Maria hit the island on Sept. 20, the Conyers fifth grader just had to do something to help his paradise recover. “I just felt that people already were responding to Hurricane Harvey in Texas and Hurricane Irma in Florida...
Suspect on the run after shootout with officers 
Suspect on the run after shootout with officers 

Officers were taken to the hospital after a shootout with a man at the intersection of Athens Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard , Gainesville police said in a Facebook pose late Friday.  Police said the suspect fired at officers, who shot back. The officers were taken to the hospital. Their condition was not relased.  The suspect...
More Stories