Sturgis, Mich. — We may know more about why police and prosecutors feel a Sturgis accountant shot and killed his boss, another accountant, in early October.
David Locey was found shot in the head October, 2, 2013 in his St. Joseph County accounting practice.
His employee, Andy Brown, was arrested a short time later on a different charge of embezzlement and was then charged with murder.
Testimony from Locey’s secretary, Tammy Brunner, revealed why Brown was initially suspected in the homicide case.
She was the employee that found Locey shortly after he was killed.
Brunner said that she first thought her boss was playing a joke when she arrived at work on October, 2, at around 7:53 am because he was behind his drafting table on the floor.
However, when she came closer and saw the blood, and a bullet wound on his forehead, she realized something terrible had happened and called 911.
When asked when he was killed, she told the dispatcher, “I have no idea. I just got here. Oh God.”
Tammy also told 911 she suspected Andy Brown right away.
The dispatcher asked, “Who was he in the argument with yesterday?”
Tammy replied, “Andy Brown.”
Tammy then told the court there had been a two-hour meeting the day before the murder in which Brown was questioned about money discrepancies.
Clients had been claiming that they’d written checks to Brown personally, but they were never recorded as being deposited by the business.
Tammy had also been asked to confiscate Brown’s computer the day of the meeting.
She said Brown was upset, but the defense tried to discredit that as a motive, by pointing out that Andy did not lash out.
Brown’s attorney said, “No yelling between them?”
“No,” said Tammy.
Also in court, testimony to try to prove Brown was near the office at the time of the murder.
According to a Michigan State Police detective and technical specialist, Brown’s cell phone put him near the crime scene at the time of the murder.
The detective said that Locey was spotted at a Snappy Mart near his office on security video at around 7:10 am.
Meanwhile, around that time, he said Brown’s cell phone was located, using towers, in an the area near the CPA business
At approximately 7:13 am, the security system recorded someone unlocking the office and shutting off the security system.
From around 7:05 am to 7:20 am, the detective testified that Brown’s cell phone was sending data from towers that put him closer to the office area.
Then, from about 7:25 am to 7:30 am, contractors testified that Brown arrived at his parent’s home, which sits just minutes from the office.
The Michigan State Police detective testified that cell phone towers confirmed that Brown’s cell phone had moved toward that location at that time.
At around 7:45, a family acquaintance said Brown then drove into his father’s business.
Then at approximately 7:53 am, Tammy testified that she came into work and found Locey dead.
Meanwhile, the defense team tried to cast doubt on Brown’s exact cell phone location during that period.
Some of Brown’s former clients also testified in court about his alleged behavior before the murder.
The owners of VIP Auto Body said that after Brown took over accounting duties for their company, they began finding discrepancies, including more than $230,000 in taxes that they thought had been paid, but were not.
They testified that Brown told them the bill had been taken care of, but when more notices came from the IRS, they became suspicious.
They said they had hired another accounting firm before the killing to look into those discrepancies.
As of Wednesday, November, 6, they said they were still in the discovery phase of trying to figure out where the money may have gone.
Brown’s defense attorney pointed out that there wasn’t proof that the money was missing, or that Brown had taken it, just that the tax bill hadn’t been paid.
Although there are allegations of monetary discrepancies, the former embezzlement charge against Brown was dropped.
If convicted on the murder charge, Brown could face a maximum of life in prison.
He also faces a charge of felony firearm.