A man in Evansville has been charged with supplying drugs to a man whose body was later discovered in a house on the Southeast Side of town.
35-year-old Jerrelle Michael Taylor was charged with a Level 1 felony for selling a controlled substance that resulted in death by the Vanderburgh County Prosecutor’s Office. At 12:30 a.m. on Wednesday, police took Taylor into custody and took him to the Vanderburgh County jail.
More than three months have passed since Taylor was arrested, at which point Evansville police discovered the body of 34-year-old Brandon Brown in their residence on the 2100 block of Frisse Avenue. Taylor was one of the final people in contact with Brown and allegedly sold him drugs many times, as stated in a probable cause document.
An affidavit filed by Brown’s family claims that on November 8, a neighbor called 911 to report that Brown was “slumped over” and not breathing in his Frisse Avenue house. As soon as emergency personnel arrived, they declared Brown dead.
A witness who called 911 reported to an officer with the Evansville Police Department that Brown seemed “strange as if something was amiss” the evening before he passed away. According to the witness, Brown frequently purchased cocaine from a man only known as “Juice.”
Police said that Brown’s smartphone was taken as evidence and that the Vanderburgh County Cyber Crime Task Force analyzed data from the device’s hard drive to try to piece together who Brown may have been in contact with in the hours leading up to his murder.
An affidavit claims that between 7:24 and 7:52 p.m. on November 7, a person identified as “Juice” in Brown’s phone messaged Brown at least twice. There’s a strong indication in the messages that the men are planning to make a drug buy.
EPD detectives determined that the text message sent from Brown’s phone to “Juice” at 7:52 p.m. was the final text message sent from the phone before Brown’s body was discovered.
According to EPD, they were able to link the “Juice” alias with Taylor after he allegedly matched the 911 caller’s physical description of the alias’s user.
The individual who reported Brown’s death recognized Taylor as “Juice” in a lineup of suspect photographs. According to reports, Juice’s current phone number is the same as the one Brown texted during his death.
Currently, Taylor has a $250,000 bond and is being held in the Vanderburgh County Jail.