‘Breakdown’ S04, Ep. 4: ‘You will die in prison, never to be released’


The new DNA test has come back on the mask that police say was used in the killing of Donna Brown.

And there’s a match, but not to the man convicted 16 years ago of the murder. Devonia Inman has always insisted that he’s innocent of the vicious killing outside the Taco Bell in Adel, Ga.

Episode 4 of the AJC’s podcast, “Breakdown: Murder Below the Gnat Line,” will be available on iTunes, Stitcher and other podcast players early Monday.

The state’s tests showed the DNA on the mask belonged to Hercules Brown, who had worked at the Taco Bell.

This is the same Hercules Brown who went on to kill two people, with a baseball bat, during a store robbery in Adel – more than a year after the murder of Donna Brown.

In sentencing Hercules to prison for the double-murder, Superior Court Judge Dane Perkins intoned: “And when it comes time for your mother and your father and all your other family members to be called from this earth, which we all will be one day, you’ll not be present to mourn or to give comfort or to receive comfort because you’ll spend the rest of your entire life in prison and you will die in prison, never to be released for any reason.”

And there he sits today, just like Devonia Inman.

You can download the fourth episode of the AJC's exclusive podcast "Breakdown: Murder Below the Gnat Line" on iTunes free of charge, or listen to it right here:

More images from the Devonia Inman case

This is the mask that was recovered from the floorboard of Donna Brown's Monte Carlo after Brown was shot and killed outside the Taco Bell in Adel, Ga. Years after Devonia Inman's conviction in Brown's murder, a DNA test of the mask showed it had been worn by Hercules Brown.

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A police sketch, as it appeared in a local newspaper, of the man suspected of taking part in a robbery and double-murderi in Adel. At right, the Department of Corrections image of Wesley Mason, who later pleaded guilty and testified against Hercules Brown for the prosecution. Breakdown host Bill Rankin says the sketch was so close to the real thing that he was surprised police had any trouble finding Mason.

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Hercules’ DNA was on a mask found in Donna Brown’s car shortly after her murder.