published Tuesday, February 7th, 2012

Bledsoe County slayings defendant's probation revoked

  • photo
    Brenda Brown, right, is escorted from Bledsoe County General Sessions Court on Friday by Investigator Ricky Seals, left, after a short hearing before Judge Howard Upchurch, far left. Brown is charged with two counts of first-degree murder.
    Photo by Ben Benton /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

  • photo
    Bledsoe County slaying victims Billie Sue Blaylock, left, and Elizabeth Brown, who are sisters, were found shot to death at their home north of Pikeville on Tuesday. Photo courtesy of the Bledsonian Banner

Brenda Brown, accused last August in the slayings of two elderly sisters in Bledsoe County, Tenn., has been sent to a Nashville prison after her probation was revoked in an unrelated 2010 conviction, according to court officials and records.

Brown, 47 when she was arrested Aug. 24, 2011, faces two counts of first-degree murder in the shooting deaths of Elizabeth Brown, 82, and Billie Sue Blaylock, 79. The victims were well-known Bledsoe natives whose bodies were found at their Mill Dam Road property north of Pikeville.

Elizabeth Brown was Brenda Brown's mother-in-law.

Probation conditions stemming from 2-year-old burglary and theft convictions have landed Brenda Brown in state prison after a hearing before Circuit Court Judge Thomas Graham in late January.

In August 2010, Brown pleaded guilty to charges of aggravated burglary, theft over $10,000 and vandalism over $500 and was sentenced to four years and 10 days in prison. Under a court agreement, she was required to serve 10 days in the local jail, 24 hours at a time, over 10 weeks, with the rest to be served on probation, court records show.

Assistant District Attorney Jim Pope said the revocation of Brown's probation means she must serve the remainder of her four-year sentence in prison. Pope said officials hope to get her transferred to the state's "special needs" facility, where she can receive appropriate medical care.

Brown has undergone medical treatment since she was arrested, according to officials. She was hospitalized in September after an incident during a doctor visit that Brown was said to have brought on herself, according to newspaper archives.

The probation will have no bearing on the prosecution of her pending murder cases, Pope said.

Investigators are waiting for lab results in the case, he said.

Public Defender Jeff Harmon, who is representing Brown, said her new housing in Nashville hasn't become a hardship yet, "but I can't say it won't be in the future."

Otherwise, the probation revocation "should have no impact" on her murder case, Harmon said.

Court officials said Brown's next court appearance is set for Feb. 27 for a status and motion hearing.

Contact staff writer Ben Benton at 423-757-6569 or bbenton@timesfreepress.com.

about Ben Benton...

Ben Benton is a news reporter at the Chattanooga Times Free Press. He covers Southeast Tennessee and previously covered North Georgia education. Ben has worked at the Times Free Press since November 2005, first covering Bledsoe and Sequatchie counties and later adding Marion, Grundy and other counties in the northern and western edges of the region to his coverage. He was born and raised in Cleveland, Tenn., a graduate of Bradley Central High School. Benton ...

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