|David “Stringbean” Akeman|
Marvin Douglas Brown fought his convictions in the Tennessee appellate courts. On September 28, 1982, the Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals affirmed the trial judge’s order denying a new trial. Marvin Brown ultimately granted an exclusive interview to Larry Brinton of the Nashville Banner. In the interview, he admitted his participation in the burglary and murders, but contended that John Brown fired the fatal shots. Since Brown, by his own admission, committed burglary, and that burglary resulted in death, Brown is guilty of murder, regardless of who fired the fatal shots.”
“At trial, it was revealed that the two had ransacked the cabin and then killed Stringbean. Estelle shrieked when she saw Stringbean hit with the bullets. A few moments later, after begging for her life, she was gunned down as well in the front yard. The Tennessee Court of Criminal Appeals described the scene, ‘Upon their return, Mr. Akeman spotted the intruders in his home and evidently offered some resistance. One of the Brown cousins fatally shot Mr. Akeman, then pursued, shot and killed Mrs. Akeman. At their trial, each defendant blamed the other for the homicides.’
The thieves left with nothing more than a chain saw and some guns. In 1996, 23 years after their murders, $20,000 in cash was discovered behind a brick in the chimney of the Akemans’ home. The paper money had rotted to such an extent that it was not usable. (the United States Consumer Price Index indicates that the purchasing power of $20,000 in 1973 would be equivalent to the purchasing power of some $100,000 in 2010.)
Jessica Bray is the owner and founder of Kentucky Country Music website. Jessica has been a music journalist and historian for over 20 years. She enjoys providing concert photography, reviews, red carpet event coverage, and exclusive interviews of your favorite country music singers. She is a Kentucky Colonel, as well as a collector of Volkswagen and Gnome items. Most recently, she was named Laurel County’s Ten Under 40 Award Recipients for 2018.