Dori: Pot shop victim’s dad says judge’s decision ‘set in motion’ the killing
May 2, 2022, 2:56 PM | Updated: 3:55 pm
In what he recalls as a “surreal day,” the father of a slain Tacoma cannabis store worker told The Dori Monson Show that the hours leading up to his son’s killing were an otherwise “wonderful” day with a stroll down memory lane.
Now, Dennis Brown of Gig Harbor is coming to grips with the consequences of a judicial system that released two teens in the previous alleged robbery before allegedly killing his son. Police say Jordan Brown, 29, was shot and killed March 19 at World of Weed in Tacoma’s Eastside neighborhood while trying to stop two boys from robbing the business.
That morning started as a father-son day, Dennis Brown told Dori’s listeners. Even though it was more than an hour from their Gig Harbor home, Jordan convinced his dad to drive north together to shop for a car together and then visit Jordan’s childhood Shoreline and Lake Forest Park hometowns.
“It was such a wonderful day for him and I,” Dennis Brown remembers. “We went around the old neighborhood. We went to Shorecrest (High School) and Kellogg (Middle School) to see how his old schools got rebuilt. Then we topped it off and he treated me to Dick’s Drive-In on Lake City Way.
“When I dropped him off at work at 3 p.m., he said ‘I really appreciate you taking me up there. . . I love you.’ We just really enjoyed our time together.”
Later that night, the elder Brown arrived to pick up Jordan from his work shift at the cannabis retailer, where officers told him his son had been killed.
“I was devastated,” Brown recalled. “I just sat there, probably for an hour in my car, and cried.”
Almost as painful for Brown? Learning that his son’s alleged killers were 15- and 16-year-old boys who were released from an earlier alleged crime.
The alleged killers, Marshon Jones, 15, and Montrell D. Hatfield, 16, were released with electronic ankle monitors by King County Superior Court Judge Averil Rothrock in February. They appeared before her in connection to an early 2022 Federal Way alleged pot shop robbery and pistol whipping.
King and Pierce County authorities reported the boys removed the ankle devices before going on a further pawnshop and cannabis robbery spree. They are now being held in Pierce County, where they are charged with first-degree murder of Jordan Brown.
Given what you now know, Dori asked Dennis Brown, how do you feel about how the lead-up to Jordan’s case was handled?
“Judges have a lot of discretion,” Brown said. “The decision can cause a lot of collateral damage. In this case – her decision – a wonderful young man was murdered.”
If Rothrock had “just listened to the prosecuting attorneys and everyone else,” Brown said, his son would be alive today. “We don’t want another case like my son’s.
In a response from King County Superior Court, communications manager Amy Roe wrote to The Dori Monson Show.
“The risk assessment tool utilized in every case indicated detention on Electronic Home Monitoring,” Roe wrote. “This was the recommendation made to the judge by Juvenile Court Services. The law requires the least restrictive means of detention, and the judge is obligated to follow the law.”
In this case, Dori adds, the level of violence involved in the Federal Way pawn shop case should have triggered a stronger and more restrictive hold on the teens before their trial.
“Somewhere in our society, there are juveniles who are just violent, and they commit these horrible, horrific crimes,” Brown continued. “They forfeit the right to go home.”
Meanwhile, the Brown family is preparing to celebrate Jordan’s life with family and friends this weekend.
His son “loved art, drawing, playing the guitar,” Brown told Dori’s listeners. “He was an avid reader. He would sit there and read and read and then go draw all night. Jordan was a kid that never got in trouble. He was a mellow kid and an introvert – like some artists are when they love their craft. He had dear friends.”
Jordan’s killers “took away a young man from our community,” he said. “A decision was made that left a hole in our family, devastated us.”
Listen to Dori Monson weekday afternoons from noon – 3 p.m. on KIRO Newsradio, 97.3 FM. Subscribe to the podcast here.