FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – A man was arrested Monday and charged with murder in connection to a fatal shooting after a woman and her husband were found dead two days apart.
For nearly two days, Vanessa Brabson lay on the ground in a large vacant lot near Bloomingdale Park, a single shell casing next to her body.
Police found Brabson, 34, Friday morning, the time of her death marked by her cell phone that’d stopped moving and network communication that ended around 7:46 p.m. Wednesday.
Vanessa died from a gunshot wound to her head, according to a probable cause affidavit released Monday.
Sunday, her husband Sean Brabson, 33, met his deadly fate in an alley off Lenox Avenue, south of Pettit Avenue, after someone in a dark hoodie ran up behind him and a witness and aimed his gun only at Brabson. Sean was shot multiple times around 6:42 a.m. and taken to a hospital where he died from his injuries.
A husband and wife dead. Two people charged with their homicides, one of the accused being Vanessa’s brother, police confirmed.
Sedrick Williams, 31, was taken into custody Friday and charged with murder in Vanessa Brabson’s death. Vanessa’s brother, James Saylor, 33, was arrested Sunday and charged with the death of Sean Brabson.
Both arrestees appeared in court Monday morning. They are scheduled to appear in court again Thursday at 10:30 a.m.
Williams, released from the Allen County Jail in July on criminal rule 4, was already facing charges for a 2020 homicide, this one for Indianapolis man, Marlon Kimbrough, 40. Kimbrough was his cellmate in a state prison and allegedly sexually assaulted Williams, a probable cause affidavit said.
In this new case, evidence shows that Vanessa and Williams were at a witness’s residence on Oct. 18 around 6:30 p.m. The witness said he gave Vanessa a black hooded sweatshirt and told police that the two were only there for about five minutes and left in a gray Chevrolet HHR.
Homicide detective Ben MacDonald located cell phone data for Williams and detectives got hold of a jail message from two witnesses that said “Hey Sed said call him ASAP.”
Cell phone data from Williams and Vanessa showed them moving together through the evening of Oct. 18 and ending at the homicide location.
Surveillance video at Brother’s Auto on Sherman Boulevard shows a car driving into the crime scene area briefly before leaving at 7:44 p.m., two minutes before her cell phone stopped communicating.
More surveillance video captured the dark gray Chevrolet HHR going east on High Street at 7:47 p.m., a time consistent with Williams’ cell phone data. Then detectives found the gray 2009 Chevrolet HHR that is registered to Williams.
When Vanessa’s husband was shot, he was walking down the alley with a woman who took off when shots were fired and could only identify the shooter as a man.
Once again surveillance video from a nearby business showed a driver – Saylor – get out of a car at the Lenox Avenue alley and the passenger get out and enter the driver’s seat. The replacement driver drove away from the alley but was seen driving in the area a number of times. About 30 minutes after the shooting, the car was stopped at Paulding Road and Fairfield Avenue, court documents said.
Homicide detectives found the replacement driver and showed him a still photo from surveillance video that showed him getting out of the passenger seat. That witness admitted he was the one in the photo and told police he was with James Saylor and they were in Saylor’s girlfriend’s car.
In the video, Saylor is seen wearing dark clothing when he gets out of the driver’s seat around 6:35 a.m. a few minutes before the shooting and then seen running into the alley behind Brabson and the female witness. “The shooting can be heard” at 6:39 a.m., court documents said.
When homicide detective Jeff Marsee interviewed Saylor, he refused to talk, court documents said.
Also, on Monday, Williams was charged with drug charges and unlawful possession of a firearm by a serious violent felon. He is charged with dealing cocaine, fentanyl, methamphetamine and marijuana. Williams was picked up Thursday just after midnight when detectives spotted the car near the 3000 block of Hillegas Road.
The drive took off at a high rate of speed at Spring Street and Lindenwood Avenue after detectives attempted to pull the car over. Near North Wells and Sixth streets, Williams got out of the car with a gun in his hand.
The driver was stopped but detectives had to chase Williams who “suspiciously crept” out from a home. Williams was arrested in an alley behind some houses. A detective found a bag with nine smaller bags of drugs including cocaine, crack cocaine, meth, more than 200 Fentanyl pills and 4.8 grams of Fentanyl powder.
On his person, Williams had $278 in cash and a Smith and Wesson 9mm semi-automatic handgun with a missing magazine police soon found in a backyard.
Williams has a hearing on these drug and gun charges at the same time as his hearing for murder Thursday at 10:30 a.m.