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.”
Bill Rankin has been an AJC reporter for more than 30 years. His father, Jim Rankin, worked as an editor for the newspaper for 26 years, retiring in 1986. Bill has primarily covered the state’s court system, doing all he can do to keep the scales of justice on an even keel. Since 2015, he has been the host of the newspaper’s Breakdown podcast.