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Man convicted of murdering Southport Police Lt. Aaron Allan files appeal

Jason Dane Brown's attorney asks for conviction to be reversed, reduced
jason dane brown.jpg
Posted at 10:40 PM, Jan 19, 2023
and last updated 2023-01-19 23:13:10-05

MARION COUNTY — The lawyer representing the man found guilty of murder in the 2017 death of Southport police Lt. Aaron Allan is asking that his conviction be reversed and reduced.

Jason Brown was found guilty in February and sentenced in May to 55 years in prison and another three years suspended.

MORE: Taxpayers spent $330,000 to defend man accused of killing Lt. Aaron Allan

Allan was among the first officers on the scene after Brown crashed and flipped a BMW in the 6600 block of South Madison Avenue on July 27, 2017. Brown was seat-belted and suspended in the upside-down car when he fired 18 shots, 11 of which hit Allan.

A notice of appeal was filed on May 31.

An appellant brief filed Wednesday by Brown's attorney claims after 19 days, detectives tried to get Brown's blood for a toxicology analysis. The hospital had destroyed the blood, but a urine sample was available and a toxicology analysis was performed.

"The blood evidence, as everyone agrees, would have indicated what Mr. Brown was on, if anything, on July 27, 2017. Urine could only explain what Mr. Brown had ingested in the hours, days or weeks before the incident ... this resulted in a due process violation of Jason Brown’s right to a fair trial," the document said. "[The toxicology analysis] resulted in a report that at some point, Mr. Brown had ingested cocaine, marijuana and spice. However, without the blood evidence, there was no way to know what he had ingested that day."

Prosecutors say Brown was high and hallucinating when he fired those deadly shots. A urine test that showed Brown had used cocaine, marijuana and synthetic marijuana, but the test didn't prove that Brown was high at the time of the crash.

Defense attorneys argued that Brown suffered a seizure induced by years-old head trauma that was never treated. Brown, the defense said, had no control over his actions when he crashed, grabbed a gun and repeatedly pulled the trigger.

The defense filed a motion to exclude evidence, including the urine toxicology analysis, in May 2021. That motion was denied in January 2022.

"The evidence at the bench trial left reasonable doubt that Jason Brown knowingly and intentionally killed Lt. Allan," the appellant brief says. "He was shooting to protect himself from what he could not process, which tragically was Lt. Allan trying to aid him. He did not knowingly and intentionally shoot Lt. Allan."

The brief says Brown's murder conviction should be reduced to voluntary manslaughter.

You can read the full court filing below.

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