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Brian Jeffrey DANN

 
 
 
 
 

 

 

 

 


A.K.A.: "Tripper"
 
Classification: Murderer
Characteristics: Revenge
Number of victims: 3
Date of murder: April 4, 1999
Date of arrest: 3 days after
Date of birth: ???
Victims profile: Shelly Parks (his girlfriend), Andrew Parks (her brother), and Eddie Payan (Andrew's friend)
Method of murder: Shooting (.38 caliber revolver)
Location: Maricopa County, Arizona, USA
Status: Sentenced to death on January 24, 2002
 
 

 

Supreme Court of Arizona

 

opinion CR-02-0042-AP

 
 

 
 

INMATE 045828 DANN BRIAN, J

At approximately three o’clock in the morning on Easter Sunday, April 4, 1999, Brian Dann entered Andrew Parks’ apartment and shot and killed Andrew, Andrew’s sister Shelly, who was Dann’s girlfriend of two years, and Andrew’s friend, Eddie Payan.

The preceding evening, April 3, 1999, Dann had stopped by the home of his former girlfriend, Tina Pace-Morrell, to borrow a gun. He first claimed that someone was trying to kill him, but then told Tina that Andrew had fired a gun at him earlier in the day and he needed a gun for protection because he wanted to go to Andrew’s apartment to pick up some of his belongings. Failing to convince Dann not to go to Andrew’s apartment, Tina loaned him her father’s snub-nosed .38 caliber revolver.

After the murders Dann contacted Tina and told her that he had just shot three people. He asked what he should do. Tina advised him to turn himself in, but he refused.

About thirty minutes later, he showed up at Tina’s home to return the gun. While there, he described how he had forced his way into Andrew’s apartment, “leveled the gun,” and shot Andrew, then Shelly, and then Eddie.

Dann recounted that he shot Andrew and Shelly because they laughed at him, and he shot Eddie because he had witnessed the shootings of Andrew and Shelly. Dann asked Tina to tell the police he was with her throughout the night, and thus provide him with an alibi. He then gave her the gun and five spent rounds. Before leaving, Dann washed up and borrowed some clothes.

Ballistics analysis of the gun and the bullets recovered at the scene indicated that the bullets that killed Andrew, Shelly, and Eddie were fired from that revolver.


State of Arizona v. Brian Dann

CR-07-0153-AP

Facts:

On the evening of Saturday, April 3, 1999, Brian Dann stopped by the home of his former girlfriend, Tina Pace-Morrell, to borrow a gun. Initially he claimed that someone was trying to kill him, but then told Tina that Andrew Parks had fired a gun at him earlier in the day and he needed a gun for protection because he wanted to go to Andrew’s apartment to pick up some of his belongings. Andrew Parks is the brother of Shelly Parks, Dann’s girlfriend. Tina loaned Dann her father’s .38 caliber revolver.

On that same night, Dann was seen at the Double K, a bar he frequented in Phoenix. Kim Tran Robinson, the bar owner, said that Dann remained at the Double K until shortly before 1:00 a.m. the following morning, Sunday, April 4. Dann’s friend George was also at the Double K that evening. Just before closing time, George approached Dann to talk. Dann indicated he did not want to talk in the bar, so the two men went outside to the parking lot.

Dann told George that he and Shelly were having problems. He related that Shelly’s brother, Andrew, had shot at him earlier that day. Dann showed George the revolver he had borrowed from Tina, stating that he intended to “straighten out the problem.” When George asked Dann what he intended to do with the gun, Dann said he intended to use it to kill Andrew. Dann also asked George for an unlicensed, untraceable “throw-away” gun. George refused Dann’s request and spent the next two hours attempting to talk Dann out of his plan. By the end of the conversation, Dann seemed calmer to George and Dann told George he was going home to go to bed. Kim Tran Robinson saw the men talking in the parking lot at 2:00 a.m. as she was locking up the bar.

Dann next spoke with Tina, who testified that Dann called between 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 4, and told her that he had just shot three people. He asked what he should do. Tina advised Dann to turn himself in, but he refused. About thirty minutes later, he showed up at Tina’s home to return the gun. While there, he described how he had forced his way into Andrew’s apartment, “leveled the gun,” and shot Andrew, then Shelly, and then Eddie. Dann recounted that he shot Andrew and Shelly because they laughed at him, and he shot Eddie because he witnessed the shootings of Andrew and Shelly. Dann asked Tina to tell the police he was with her throughout the night, thus providing him an alibi. During Dann’s meeting with Tina, he gave her the gun and five spent rounds. Before leaving, Dann washed up and borrowed some clothes.

At approximately six o’clock Sunday morning, Dann returned to Andrew’s apartment, where he called 911. He reported that he had just discovered three bodies in the apartment. During the next few days, police interviewed Tina and George and located the revolver Dann had borrowed from Tina. Ballistics analysis of the gun and the bullets recovered at the scene indicated that the bullets that killed Andrew, Shelly, and Eddie were fired from the revolver. The medical examiner testified that Andrew was shot twice, once in the chest and once in the right temple; that Shelly was shot once, in the top of her head above the right ear; and that Eddie was shot twice, once behind the left ear and once in his right forehead. The wounds on Shelly’s temple and Eddie’s forehead were soft contact wounds, indicating that the shooter took the time to place the weapon softly against their flesh before firing. On Wednesday, April 7, 1999, Dann was arrested for the triple homicide.

On October 1, 2001, the jury found Dann guilty of three counts of premeditated murder, three counts of felony murder, and one count of first degree burglary. A judge subsequently sentenced Dann to death on January 1, 2002. On appeal, this Court affirmed one conviction of premeditated first degree murder, three convictions of first degree felony murder, and the conviction and sentence for first degree burglary, but reversed Dann’s convictions for the first degree premeditated murders of Shelly and Eddie. In light of Ring v. Arizona (Ring II), this Court remanded for resentencing in front of a jury.

On remand, a new jury found one aggravating factor proven beyond a reasonable doubt: that two or more murders were committed during the commission of the offense, under Arizona Revised Statutes (A.R.S.) section 13-703.F.8. Dann argued the existence of the following mitigating circumstances: (1) residual doubt, (2) difficult childhood (abandonment, physical abuse, and overmedication leading to drug abuse), (3) new goals on death row, amenability to rehabilitation, and lack of future dangerousness, (4) drug and mental health issues impairing his judgment, (5) remorse, and (6) family support and impact of execution on his family. The jury determined that the mitigation was not sufficiently substantial to warrant leniency and that the death penalty was appropriate.



Brian J. Dann

 

 

 
 
 
 
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