By Kelly Kazek
On Friday, Michael Brown of Tanner received a post on his Facebook page: “We’re praying for you.”
Brown didn’t know what prompted the post so he checked online and found startling news: Police were searching for the Madison teen accused of shooting and killing Michael’s 14-year-old son, Todd, at Discovery Middle School in February 2010.
His reaction? “It’s a blessing he tried to flee because now he’s in jail and maybe we can get this case over with,” Michael said Wednesday. “Maybe now justice will be served.”
The accused, Hammad Memon, 16, was 14 years old when Todd Brown was killed but a judge ruled he would be tried as an adult.
Michael Brown said the long wait from his son’s death to the trial set for June 18 has been difficult, particularly with the knowledge that Hammad was living without restrictions.
“Any other child in the world would have had an ankle bracelet,” Michael said. “There was nobody monitoring that house and they had more than two years to plan something. That should never have happened.”
Hammad had been free on bond and living at home with his parents, Dr. Iqbal and Safia Memon.
But on Friday, authorities learned Hammad had access to a Pakistani passport and had fled Alabama with his mother and 6-year-old sister. The three were captured that night in Dallas. Hammad and his mother were taken into custody while the 6-year-old stayed with nearby relatives. Safia was charged with hindering prosecution and remained in a Dallas jail Wednesday.
Back in Madison on Friday, police arrested Dr. Memon and also charged him with hindering prosecution. Memon, who has pediatric practices in Madison and Athens, was released on bond.
“I understand they might be scared but still they broke the law,” Michael said of Hammad’s parents. “They need to serve time for what they’ve done.”
Prosecutor of the case, Assistant Madison District Attorney Tim Gann, said Hammad was on his way Wednesday from Dallas to Madison and was expected to arrive in late evening. He was escorted by the DA’s chief investigator and a Madison police sergeant, he said.
Safia Memon will be transported later through a contract service local authorities typically use, he said. Hammad needed to arrive sooner because a hearing has been set for 11:30 a.m. today in Madison County Circuit Court.
In addition, local authorities needed to process some evidence gathered by Texas authorities in relation to the flight attempt.
“Another reason he was brought back sooner is that he was locked up in a juvenile facility and we wanted to get him in Madison County Jail,” Gann said, adding. “As far as I know, he will be treated like every other prisoner.”
At the hearing today in front of Judge Karen Hall, Gann will request that Hammad’s $75,000 bond on the murder charge be revoked. It was secured by his parents through a bond agency, he said.
Brown said if Hammad is released on bail, he would hold a rally in protest.
“I’m beginning to make plans today,” he said.
Michael said he believes his son’s case deserves national attention. “If my son had killed a doctor’s son, it would have been different,” he said. “He would have been locked up from Day 1.”
If found guilty, Hammad should receive 40 years in prison, Michael said. “Not 10, not 20, not 30,” he said.