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Sheriff: murder suspect BJ Brown a 'violent, habitual, repeat offender'

St John. Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre said that Brown's alleged murder of his ex-girlfriend is not surprising.

NEW ORLEANS — Allegedly murdering his ex-girlfriend and shooting a Tennessee officer while on the run, the crimes linked to BJ Brown, 32, were shocking, but not exactly surprising to St. John Parish Sheriff Mike Tregre.  

“He is a violent, habitual, repeat offender,” Tregre said. 

Tregre says Brown has been arrested at least 15 times since 2010. Court documents show a history of charges, some violent, including pursuits, drugs, assault, robbery, injuring a police dog, and resisting an officer.   

“We’ve even had cases of domestic violence with him and the lady that he murdered,” said Tregre. 

Monday’s murder was caught on cell phone video. It shows a man walking up to Cassandra Jones, 48, outside a New Orleans apartment complex with what appears to be an assault rifle. He shoots her multiple times.  

“He should never see the light of day again and I wish we could have done something to prevent that from happening. Maybe he could have been in jail, I don’t know,” said Tregre. 

Court records show Brown’s past charges in St. John Parish landed him in the parish jail for only 94 days. Some charges were either not pursued or dropped by the victim, Cassandra Jones. The only pending charges involve a high-speed crash on River Road back in October.  

“He crashed into citizens who were injured, three adults and a child, where he basically totaled all vehicles and he managed to escape on foot. He turned himself in later,” said Tregre.

Tregre worries about a failure in the justice system, especially since Brown was on probation for drug charges at the time of the murder. Last month Brown was sentenced to two years probation instead of three years in jail.

Two days later, Jones filed a restraining order for domestic violence against Brown in Orleans Parish. She was killed a month and a half later. There’s now a warrant out for Brown in St. John Parish. He’s also wanted for murder in New Orleans.  

“He’s definitely what I would consider a violent criminal history and a person that definitely needs to be off the streets and probably should have been off the streets a long time ago,” said Tregre. 

On the run for two days, Brown was caught Wednesday morning in Houston County, Tennessee, near the town of Erin. The handcuffs used were from the officer who Brown allegedly shot and injured during a traffic stop.  

“His [the officer] gear probably had a little bit of blood on it, but I didn’t wash them off because he had this officer’s blood on his hands anyway,” said Erin Police Chief Mark Moore. 

Moore says his six-man department has never experienced anything like this. 

“It hits home. It’s not just a fellow officer, it’s a friend, family, brother, and we take those things personally,” said Moore. 

Tregre says given the evidence in the case, it should be expedited in court.  

“If you commit a crime and it’s just undeniable and your guilt is obvious, this case should not take years to prosecute,” said Tregre 

Brown is currently in the Houston County jail in Tennessee facing a charge of attempted murder of a police officer. Brown could be transferred to face charges in Louisiana.

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