VIGO COUNTY, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) — A third person involved in the events surrounding the murder of Dwayne French has pleaded guilty and been sentenced in Vigo County.
Dwight D. Brown appeared before Judge Michael J. Lewis in Vigo County Superior Court 6 for a change of plea hearing Friday. Brown pleaded guilty to the level 2 felony charge of robbery resulting in serious bodily injury.
In exchange for the plea, all other charges were dropped including the charge of murder. Brown was then sentenced to 27 years in prison, with three additional years of formal probation.
When asked for comment on the proceedings, Vigo County Prosecutor Terry Modesitt explained the reasons behind the plea deal.
“The evidence showed that Dwight Brown was actively involved in the Robbery portion of this crime. He was present when Dwayne French was attacked, and when the money was stolen. Because of that added level of responsibility compared to the other two co-defendants who have pleaded guilty, we felt that he deserved a higher sentence,” Modesitt said. “As such, we asked for a 30-year sentence. Judge Lewis acknowledged this defendant’s greater involvement in the crime and gave him an appropriate sentence.”
Brown is the third of four co-defendants to plead guilty in relation to the case. Candace Jones received 25 years for her role in the killing, while Richard Durbin pleaded guilty in September and is due to be sentenced in early 2024.
Jesse James Hess remains scheduled to go to trial in March of 2024 over charges of murder, armed robbery, aggravated battery, robbery resulting in serious bodily injury, and battery by means of a deadly weapon. Hess is scheduled to appear in Vigo County Court for a pre-trial conference on January 8, 2024.