Las Vegas Sun

September 16, 2014

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Brothers sentenced in fatal shooting of sister’s husband

Two brothers convicted in the January 2009 shooting death of their brother-in-law were sentenced Wednesday to life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Jermaine Brass, 25, and Ronnie Brass, 29, were found guilty earlier this year on felony counts of first-degree murder with use of a deadly weapon, first-degree kidnapping, conspiracy to commit murder and conspiracy to commit kidnapping in connection with the Jan. 9, 2009, slaying of 39-year-old Ernest Mitchell outside his home near the intersection of Smoke Ranch Road and Michael Way.

Police said Mitchell was angry about tires and rims being stolen from his house and that he suspected his wife’s brothers were involved.

Katrina Brass, Mitchell’s wife, told police and testified during the January trial that her brothers came to her house to confront her husband. She said her brother, Jermaine, was the one who had a gun and fired the shots.

Jermaine Brass was also convicted on counts of burglary and grand larceny. Jurors didn't find Ronnie Brass guilty on those counts.

District Court Judge Doug Smith on Wednesday sentenced both men in a courtroom packed with members of the Brass and Mitchell families.

In addressing the judge before sentencing was handed down, both brothers criticized their attorneys as ineffective. Ronnie Brass apologized for what had happened. Jermaine Brass denied involvement in Mitchell’s death.

During the hearing, Katrina Brass addressed the court. She said losing not only her husband, but also her brothers, had been difficult.

“I just want to say to everyone, I’m sorry,” she said. “I relive those nights every single night and I wish that there’s something I could have done to stop it.”

Mitchell’s father, Ernest Mitchell Sr., said when he and his wife buried their son, “it ripped the heart out of our souls.”

Mitchell’s mother, Eunice Mitchell, showed the judge photos of Mitchell with his family. She also showed him photos of his funeral.

“We only want justice for our son. We’ll never get him back – he’s gone forever,” she said.

In handing down the sentences, Smith told Jermaine Brass he was a “cold-blooded murderer.”

“Katrina says she lives this every day and every night. I hope you live it every day and every night, too,” Smith said from the bench.

Both men have been held at the Clark County Detention Center without bail since their arrests in January 2009.

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