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Pa-Paw robbery case will go to trial

By Sheryl Marsh
smarsh@decaturdaily.com 340-2437

A man, who allegedly told his grandfather, "This is a robber. I need your money and I mean it, Pa-Paw," pleaded innocent to first-degree robbery in Morgan County Circuit Court.

Daniel Ray Brown, 22, of 478 Alabama 36 East, entered the plea before Circuit Judge Steve Haddock on Thursday.

The case will now go to trial.

Authorities said Brown wore a ski mask and was armed
with a handle from a hydraulic
floor jack when he allegedly
committed the crime in January against his grandfather,
72-year-old Walter Ray Brown.

A sheriff's investigator said at the time that a woman who lived with the elder Brown said she witnessed the robbery and that Daniel Brown told her to "sit down, Bernice," and he went into his grandfather's room.

The investigator said he grabbed his grandfather's pants off a chair that contained his wallet.

Daniel Brown got to the kitchen and his grandfather tackled him, the investigator said. During a scuffle, he allegedly hit his grandfather in the head with the jack handle, police said.

As his grandfather picked up the phone to call 911, Daniel Brown fled to his home, leaving a trail of $5 bills and the jack handle between the two houses, which are close together, police said.

Walter Brown reported $300 stolen from his wallet.

Daniel Brown denied that he was the masked man who robbed his Pa-Paw.

Brown remains free on bond.

Terrorist threat case

In an unrelated case, a former Solutia employee entered a
written plea of innocence to a terrorist threat charge.

Through his attorney, Paul Mark Funk, 69, of 1605 Eastwood Drive S.E. submitted the plea.

Authorities alleged that Funk went to the plant Dec. 9, 2006, and told a security guard that he was unhappy with Solutia
because of its attempts to cut
retiree health benefits.

Authorities alleged that Funk told the guard that someone could easily enter the facility and do harm.

Also, Funk allegedly told the guard that he had two years of military experience and knew how to use explosives, authorities said.

After Funk reportedly left the guard shack, the security guard told a supervisor about the
incident.

The supervisor elevated security at the plant and
ordered the immediate closing of all non-essential gates.

Funk remains free on bond.

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