Pensacola man admits to fatal shooting to save his sister

The 20-year-old Pensacola man charged with the murder of two people allegedly trying to sell marijuana in 2021 sat in court Wednesday and listened to a recording of his law enforcement interview in which he admits he was one of the shooters.

In a recorded interview with Escambia County Sheriff’s Office investigators played during the murder trial, Nathan Brown admitted he robbed and killed David Purchase and Natalie Greenough on Nov. 9, 2021, during a planned drug deal at the intersection of Waycross and Stonewall avenues.

“Nobody was supposed to die. I didn’t shoot nobody,” Brown said early on during the recorded interview. “We were just going to hold them up and snatch the dope.”

Despite admitting to being part of the planned robbery, Brown told investigators that Purchase, Greenough and an unidentified man in the back seat of Purchase’s vehicle began shooting at them, which led to him and his alleged co-conspirator Hunter Carroll shooting Purchase and Greenough.

Brown trial: Pensacola man on trial for allegedly killing two people in drug-related robbery

Brown and Carroll arrest: ECSO: Two teens shot and killed couple in car during alleged drug deal robbery

Testimony from the first day of trial on Tuesday revealed that responding deputies only found one firearm in the vehicle, and it was sitting in Purchase’s lap. Investigators also said they only found two types of shell casings, which fit the firearms that Brown and Carroll allegedly had during the robbery.

When asked, Brown could not give an answer as to how three people shot a firearm when only one gun was located in the vehicle. Investigators also believe Purchase and Greenough were the only people in the vehicle.

Prior to the trial, Brown’s attorney Marci McCoy filed a motion with the court to prevent the prosecution from playing her client’s interview in front of a jury because Brown admitted to the crime only after he “was threatened with the arrest of his sister.”

Nathan Brown sits the courtroom of Circuit Court Judge Linda Nobles on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023. Brown is on trial on two counts of felony murder for robbing and killing David Purchase and Natalie Greenough on Nov. 9, 2021.

Nathan Brown sits the courtroom of Circuit Court Judge Linda Nobles on Tuesday, Aug. 1, 2023. Brown is on trial on two counts of felony murder for robbing and killing David Purchase and Natalie Greenough on Nov. 9, 2021.

“Mr. Brown initially denied any knowledge of, or involvement in the deaths of Ms. Greenough and Mr. Purchase, admitting only to wanting to buy marijuana from Mr. Purchase,” court records say. “After threatening the arrest of his sister, and foster care for his niece, Defendant slowly starts to reveal more information. Ultimately he admits to being involved and firing a weapon during an attempted robbery.”

McCoy pointed to the investigators’ comments such as “we are going to do a search warrant at your sister’s house … (and) since you’re not being honest, you know, if we find some weed in there, she’s going to jail,” and “us burning your sister, your family, or whatever to get to the truth, that’s what we’ll do.”

Purchase and Greenough found: ECSO: Man and woman found Tuesday morning shot to death in vehicle in Escambia County

Eventually, one of the investigators grabbed his phone, turned from Brown in the interview room and spoke into the phone that a search warrant for Brown’s sister needs to be written and sent to a judge. Brown then immediately said he would tell law enforcement everything if they canceled the search warrant.

“Law enforcement knew that his sister was the person that mattered to him, someone who was like a mother to him. They used that relationship and threatened to arrest her and have DCF take his niece from her if he did not confess,” McCoy’s motion says. “He was improperly influenced by hope brought to bear by law enforcement such that his confession was not of his own free will.”

Circuit Judge Linda Nobles, who is also presiding over the trial, denied McCoy’s motion to prevent the prosecutor from showing Brown’s interview with law enforcement to a jury.

“After consideration of the motion, the evidence, the relevant legal authority, and the arguments of counsel, the Court finds Defendant should not be afforded relief,” Nobles’ order on the motion says.

Brown’s murder trial continues and is set to wrap up Thursday, and the jury will then be allowed to deliberate on a verdict. He faces a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison if convicted on either count of first-degree felony murder.

Carroll is also charged with two counts of first-degree felony murder and awaits his next court date on Oct. 4.

This article originally appeared on Pensacola News Journal: Pensacola man admits to shooting David Purchase, Natalie Greenough

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