AL Supreme Court upholds death sentence for Jackson County triple murderer

Updated: Jun. 18, 2018 at 11:54 PM CDT
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(WAFF) - The Alabama Supreme Court has denied the appeal of a Jackson County man's capital murder convictions and death sentence.

James Ben Brownfield, 43, of Scottsboro, was convicted of three counts of capital murder in 2004 for the murders of his sister, Brenda McCutchin, his brother-in-law, Latham McCutchin, and his sister's 3-year-old grandson, Joshua Hodges.

According to Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall, evidence presented at trial established that Brownfield consumed Xanax pills on Dec. 23, 2001, became enraged with his sister over drugs and money, then killed her and Joshua with a claw hammer. Branda McCutchin suffered approximately 20 blows to the head and other injuries to her body. Joshua suffered approximately 16 blows to the head and other injuries to his body. They both died from multiple blunt force injuries.

Brownfield tried to burn the house with kerosene and a cigarette before leaving.

After killing Brenda McCutchin and Joshua, Brownfield took the claw hammer and a set of clean clothes and drove across town to her estranged husband's home, pretended it was a friendly visit to gain access, then hit him with his fists and the hammer. Latham McCutchin suffered numerous injuries, including 10 forceful blows to the head with the claw hammer. Brownfield then stabbed him in the heart and cut his throat with a knife, Marshall said. Latham died from multiple blunt force injuries.


The Jackson County district attorney's office prosecuted the case. Brownfield was found guilty, and a Jackson County jury recommended the death penalty. The trial judge followed the jury's recommendation and sentenced Brownfield to death.

Brownfield's subsequent attempts to have his convictions and sentence reversed on appeal have been rejected by the courts. The request was denied Friday.

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