OAKLAND — In a rare legal maneuver, an Oakland man was allowed to withdraw his 2014 guilty plea for first-degree murder charges, and pleaded for a reduced count, after a complaint filed against him for parole. Didn’t get the initial chance he expected.
Eddie Brown, 63, was granted permission to withdraw his 2014 no-contest plea for first-degree murder in the 1987 sexual assault and strangulation of 28-year-old Roshun Broadnax. In late 2021, Brown pleaded no contest to second-degree murder, and received a 15-year sentence, which gives him a chance of parole 10 years earlier than he had originally received.
On March 21, 2022, Brown waived his right to an initial parole hearing, but he is due to appear before the board on March 2023, records show.
It is unusual for a defendant to be allowed to withdraw a guilty plea, but Brown’s attorneys persuaded Judge Morris Jacobson to approve a defense motion, arguing that Brown never missed the 2014 plea deal. Would not have accepted if he knew how much time he would. In a change to his plea hearing in 2014, Brown’s attorney made it clear that Brown was accepting the deal because he expected a reduction in punishment of up to 50 percent for good behavior, as under state law in 1987. This is what he would get when the murder took place.
Instead, when Brown was transferred to a state prison, he learned the California Department of Correction and Rehabilitation was intended to serve him a full 25 years, court records show.
Oakland police reopened the case in 2012 and submitted a profile of the DNA found under Broadnack’s nails to a state database of convicted criminals. Brown’s DNA was in the database because of a rape conviction in 1973.
Broadnax’s body was found strangled, partially clothed and wrapped in a carpet, behind a garage in the 1900 block of 47th Avenue on July 10, 1987. Officers at the time received an anonymous tip that Brown was responsible, but did not find sufficient evidence. To arrest him, Alameda County Deputy District Attorney Jason Chin said. Brown had scratch marks on his face during questioning by the police; According to court documents, he told detectives that he did not know Broadnax and had no physical contact with him.
Brown was initially charged with rape and murder, making him eligible for life without the possibility of parole. Records show he is being held at the California Medical Facility in Vacaville.