‘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

JUST IN: Metro Atlanta piano teacher accused of child molestation found dead in jail cell
JUST IN: Metro Atlanta piano teacher accused of child molestation found dead in jail cell

The Roswell piano teacher arrested on child molestation charges last month was found dead in his Fulton County Jail cell Saturday morning, officials said. Troy Lawrence Palmer was found hanging in his cell around 8 a.m. Saturday, the Atlanta Police Department said in a statement to AJC.com on Sunday. An initial investigation suggests the cause of death...
How you can watch Orionid meteor shower, which peaks this weekend
How you can watch Orionid meteor shower, which peaks this weekend

The dazzling Orionid meteor shower is expected to peak at the tail end of this weekend and you don’t want to miss out on the much-anticipated celestial event. The annual shower has been called “one of the most beautiful showers of the year” by Bill Cooke, head of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office, and is a popular celestial...
UPDATE: Manhunt on for Gwinnett officer shooting suspect; another denied bond
UPDATE: Manhunt on for Gwinnett officer shooting suspect; another denied bond

Flags at the Gwinnett County Police Department were at half-staff Sunday morning as a manhunt continued for a suspect accused of shooting and killing a police officer Saturday. Tafahree Maynard, 18, of Snellville, remained at large Sunday morning. Police believe he fired the shot that killed officer Antwan Toney, who had been on the force for...
Oh, deer: 2 bucks lock horns on front porch of California home
Oh, deer: 2 bucks lock horns on front porch of California home

This battle had plenty of bang for the bucks. >> Read more trending news  A northern California homeowner came home to find his front porch in disarray Thursday, but not because of a potential break-in. Video surveillance confirmed that two deer were brawling on the property, KABC reported. The homeowner in Marin County posted home...
Fulton County restaurant inspection scores

Fulton County • D&D Barbeque & Ribs, 1975 Sylvan Road, Atlanta. 96/A • Dua Vietnamese Noodle Soup, 53 Broad St., Atlanta. 96/A • Farm Burger, 275 Memorial Drive, Atlanta. 80/B • Harold’s Chicken, 349 Edgewood Ave., Atlanta. 90/A • One Eared Stag, 1029 Edgewood Ave., Atlanta. 92/A
More Stories