OAKLAND -- A 56-year-old man was sentenced to 25 years to life in prison Wednesday after trying to back out of his plea deal for the murder of a female acquaintance that was solved by DNA 25 years after the woman's partially clad body was found hidden in an Oakland carport.
A public defender for Eddie Brown said the defendant felt that the July 10, 1987, strangulation killing of Oakland bank teller Roshun Broadnax constituted a manslaughter, and he wished to withdraw the no contest plea to first-degree murder.
Brown, an Oakland resident who's also gone by Eddie Joe Brock, took a plea deal in May as he was facing trial. He would have been automatically sentenced to life without the possibility of parole had jurors found that the killing occurred in the course of a rape -- a special allegation that prosecutors dismissed in exchange for his plea.
Alameda County Judge Paul Delucchi refused to allow Brown to withdraw his plea based on the facts of the case.
Broadnax could be heard screaming for an hour before she was strangled. Her body, nude from the waist down, was wrapped in carpet and found in an abandoned carport behind an apartment building in the 1900 block of 47th Avenue. Brown's family lived across the street.
"I don't think this even comes close to a manslaughter," Delucchi said.
Brown was arrested in 2012 after Oakland police matched his DNA to material found under Broadnax's fingernails. He was a registered sex offender with prior convictions that included a 1979 assault with intent to commit rape in Santa Clara County.
Prosecutor Jason Chin said Wednesday it was unclear how Brown and Broadnax knew each other, but they were seen together at least once before her death.
Defense attorney George Arroyo said Brown was not trying to negate any responsibility, but he was not content with his sentence. As he was sentenced under 1987 laws that are more generous in credit for time already served, Brown will first face a parole board in about 10 years, according to his attorney.
He has a lot of family support and "sees the light at the end of the tunnel," Arroyo said.
"The man sitting before us today is a very different from the man that committed these crimes in 1987," Arroyo said.
No one from Broadnax's family attended the sentencing.
Contact Malaika Fraley at 925-234-1684. Follow her at Twitter.com/malaikafraley.