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The Los Angeles Times from Los Angeles, California • Page 121

Los Angeles, California
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BIO ORANGE COUNTY PLOT: Family Ties All Relative in Murder Trial Anaheim Man Slain Execution-Style in Georgia Restaurant By MATT LA IT 1 I 1 1 I WilI I An Anaheim accountant was killed execution-style as he sat in the bar of a crowded Savannah. restaurant, authorities said. Jon Berry Bragg, 52, died after being shot once at close range by an unidentified assailant. Savannah Police Officer Joseph Hill said. The bullet entered behind Bragg's ear.

he said. According to police, the gunman walked into Bennigan's restaurant, approached Bragg from behind and fired a small-caliber pistol at his head. The gunman then ran out of the restaurant, Hill said. Police have identified no motive or suspects. Investigators, however, are looking into the possibility that the shooting was by a professional killer.

A Bennigan's spokesman declined comment, but police said restaurant employees told them Bragg was a regular customer. Hill said Bragg was a native of Savannah. "He apparently commuted between here and California frequently," Hill said. Brown in which she pleaded with him to let her tell "the truth" about the killing because she was tired of imprisonment. But Brown said she could not, because "we'd all go to jail." Patti Bailey.

Seventeen years old at the time of the murder, Bailey had lived in Anaheim with her sister, Linda, and Brown because of family problems in Riverside. She has testified that Brown told her since she was 11 that he would someday marry her, and they later had sexual relations while Linda was away. (Married seven times, Brown had also dated a third Bailey sister.) The young woman with the childlike voice was devoted to Brown, authorities and relatives say. That devotion, authorities assert, translated into murder in March, 1985, when she helped Cinnamon carry out the killing after weeks, perhaps months, of plotting between them and Brown. Earlier, the three had talked among themselves about myriad ways of of killing Linda hitting her over the head, putting an electrical appliance in her bathtub, pushing her out of a moving car, or running her over, officials charge.

Finally, at Brown's directive, it was allegedly decided to have Cinnamon shoot Linda as she slept, then feign the suicide. Cinnamon maintains that her father assured her that she would spend little or no time behind bars because of her youth. But she was ultimately sentenced to 25 years to life in a California Youth Authority facility in Camarillo while Brown secretly married Patti sometime after the. killing and moved into a spacious house in Anaheim Hills that he had said Arthur Brown of Carson, the father of the defendant, in reference to Patti Bailey. "He's my son I'm not worried exactly, just concerned," Arthur Brown added.

"But I'm sure that everything will be right, if the Lord has His way." On the other side will be the relatives of the murder victim, who say they feel betrayed by the manipulative Brown. "He just better not get away with it," said Alan Bailey of Riverside, the victim's twin brother. "I know he's going to try everything he can, and he doesn't care who he hurts in the process. But he just better not get away with it. I want him in jail for the rest of his life the worst place he could be.

Period." Prosecutors will rely largely on the testimony of the two people who may have been closest to the defendant: Cinnamon Brown. Then 14, she was found on the night of the murder in the back -yard doghouse, apparently incoherent from a drug overdose. She left a suicide note that said she was sorry for killing her stepmother. She now says, however, that her father convinced her that Linda Bailey and her brother, Alan Bailey, planned to kill him to gain control of his lucrative business. Brown ran a firm called Data Recovery Inc.

that retrieved lost computer information from damaged systems. Investigators believe it had several lucrative private and government contracts and made Brown millions of dollars. After Cinnamon Brown agreed to cooperate, authorities tape-recorded a 1988 jailhouse visit by of conspiracy and attempted murder were lodged against Brown. His alleged targets all remained unharmed and active in his prosecution. Brown's lawyers assert that he was pressured into the scheme by Steinhart and the third inmate, who wanted to cooperate with authorities as a way to aid their own cases.

In an interview last year, Brown also maintained that Steinhart threatened to hurt his family if he did not cooperate. Deputy Dist. Atty. Robinson doesn't buy it. To him, the jailhouse plot marks a killer's desperate attempt to escape prosecution in the legal lexicon, a dramatic illustration of his "consciousness of guilt." For that reason, Robinson will try to persuade Superior Court Judge Donald A.

McCartin that evidence of the plot is critical to the murder trial. "It demonstrates just how far this guy will go to accomplish his goals," Robinson said. Even before the alleged jailhouse plot, however, the sheer drama of the Linda Brown murder case was enough to attract the interest of longtime court watchers, national television shows such as "A Current Affair," and movie and television producers and scriptwriters. Several scriptwriters sat through Brown's preliminary hearing last year. They plan to return for the trial.

Present, too, will be members of a family ripped apart by the drama. On one side of the courtroom will sit the relatives of David Brown, convinced that the defendant is the unwitting victim of trickery. "All I can say is they've got a liar for a witness, and I despise a liar," Continued from Bl whole Pandora's box of problems for us. Even if the guy were absolutely not guilty of the first crime but maybe panicked and participated in this jailhouse assassination plan, it would be very, very difficult for anyone to believe he's not guilty" of the murder. Several months after Brown was arrested in September, 1988, for the murder of Linda Marie Brown, prosecutors say, he worked with fellow Orange County Jail inmate Richard Steinhart to plot the assassinations of Jeoffrey Robinson, the prosecutor in the case; Jay Newell, the district attorney's investigator who was troubled by the initial story of the Linda Brown murder: and Brown's current wife, Patti Bailey, who has since pleaded guilty to murder for her role in the killing.

Authorities say they caught on to the scheme through a tip from a third inmate. Then, they persuaded Steinhart to cooperate. After Steinhart was released from jail, he wore a bug to record his several dozen conversations with Brown. The pair also talked about diverting suspicion from Brown by making it appear as though he, too, were the target of an assault. The elaborate setup culminated in a Feb.

13, 1988, phone conversation in which, according to tapes obtained by The Times, Steinhart falsely told Brown that he had just shot and killed Robinson and Newell. "Bang, bang right in the back of the head!" he reported. Brown, talking softly but excitedly in the close confines of the jail, responded: "Wonderful! You're a good man. did great." A week later, additional charges KLEIN: Celebrations Are Lifeline Cosla Mesa 545-8845 PAUL MORSE Los Angeles Times Murder suspect David A. Brown during 1988 court appearance.

bought with cash, officials say. He and Patti had a baby, Heather, in 1987. Prosecutors say they made no deals for the testimony of either Cinnamon or Patti, who also was sentenced to 25 years to life in the California Youth Authority. But defense attorney Richard Schwartzberg of Santa Ana counters that both young women are willing to essentially perjure themselves against his client for the sake of leniency. "Everyone knows there's a deal," he asserted.

"Within an hour of the verdict or some other very short time I can guarantee you both of them will be paroled out of that prison, never to be seen again." 25 OFF TWO-PIECE DRESSING A versatile look from Parnes Feinstein designed to make an easy transi from spring summer. In a wl green scroll jacquard, polye with acrylic-n; knit trim, 6 ti sizes, orig. 21! Sale 15J All stores exi Beverly 1 Miss Magnin Wynshire Dre: Andrea Jovine dresses you for sunny days in crisp white linen accented with black. We show one from a collection of sundresses designed to show off your summer tan. Available in 4 to 12 sizes 138.00.

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The youngest, who is 7, was born nearby. She is named after a flower in Kim-Nhung's garden. Her sister, two years older, first glimpsed the world in a Thai refugee camp. Her name, in Vietnamese, means perfume of God. All of the children have changed their names to Tracey, Jonathan, Kim, Jenny and Linda.

They picked them out themselves. They are Americans now. They have been since December of 1986. But Kim-Nhung knows that America can change more than just names. Sometimes, it sets people adrift and they forget who they are.

Kim-Nhung will not allow that to happen. Not in her family, not after all that they have been through. Like so many thousands of Vietnamese refugees, the Has almost did not make it here. When they tried to escape Communist Vietnam by sea, they were caught and jailed. Both Kim-Nhung and Vinh lost their jobs she as a teacher, he as a civilian South Vietnamese navy employee and their home.

Two years later, they tried again, over the region's rough terrain. They walked, mostly, from Saigon across South Vietnam, up through Cambodia and, finally, to the first of four refugee camps in Thailand. The horrific odyssey claimed the lives of many in their group. All were terrorized: many went mad. Now, like the Jewish survivors of the Holocaust or those who lived through the killing fields of the Khmer Rouge, they bear a legacy that will never let them forget.

Monday marks the 15th anniversary of the fall of Saigon, the city the Has had called home. It is her responsibility, Kim-Nhung believes, to tell the world about what Wedding Special $450 A complete photographic record of your wedding in color. You'll receive 3 hours of photography time and 16 8x10's (in an album). Select from 70 proofs. The she saw.

In the midst of the party, she goes to retrieve a massive loose-leaf binder, which represents six years of work, at nights and on weekends. This, written in neat, Vietnamese script, is the complete story of the Has' ordeal under Communist rule and their journey to the United States, where they arrived on Oct. 16, 1980. I cannot understand a word, although earlier I had read bits of it, in English translation, published by San Diego's Boat People S.O.S. Committee.

Other parts have been published, in Vietnamese, by newspapers in Canada, Westminster and Santa Ana. Kim-Nhung is hoping the whole story will come out, in English, but she cannot translate it herself. We talk about this a little, and some of the other guests join in. The man sitting next to Kim-Nhung, the manager of the real estate office where she works, was a first lieutenant in the South Vietnamese Army. He was in a re-education camp for five years after that.

Then the music starts up again, with Kim-Nhung's husband at the mike. He sings a Vietnamese song, which Kim-Nhung translates as "He Forgot His Heart in Paris." Another man is recording everything on videocassette. People are eating, having a good time. "Love You Forever" and "Remember Saigon" are songs belted out next. Even children too young to remember much about their parents' former lives are singing along heartily.

With celebrations such as these, Kim-Nhung knows it will be harder to forget. Dianne Klein's column appears Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Readers may reach Klein by writing to her at The Times Orange County Edition, 1375 Sunflower Costa Mesa, Calif. 92626, or calling (714) 966-7406. PASADENA (818)795-5888 WOODLAND HILLS 8 (818)999-1870 TORRANCE (213)328-7722 BO Times format I A Special Report Tuesday, May 1 This is it.

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