Man found not guilty in fatal hit-and-run

DEKALB COUNTY, Ga. — A DeKalb County jury found a former school administrator not guilty of a deadly hit-and-run in 2010.

Wendel Brown was on trial for the death of 37-year-old Phillip Bratton.

Channel 2's Tom Jones watched the entire trial from the courtroom and tried to speak to jurors who refused comment after the trial.

Prosecutors accused Brown of hitting Bratton on Flat Shoals Parkway in June 2010 and then fleeing the scene.

The victim’s family told Jones they were shocked by the verdict.

“Justice was not done for my son today,” said Linda Bratton, Phillip’s mother.

“I don’t know. Just imperfect people made a bad decision,” said Bratton’s sister Sheri Bratton.

Prosecutors told the jury Brown hit Bratton on Flat Shoals Parkway in 2010 and left the scene. The state said police matched pieces of his Land Rover with pieces left over after he took the SUV to be repaired.

Brown said he hit a deer.

“It was a rush to judgment. It was a botched investigation,” said defense attorney Charles Webb.

Webb said he thinks the jury reached the verdict it did because the investigation was shoddy.

He said investigators didn’t even photograph all the pieces of the SUV they say they found at the scene.

“It was hocus pocus because if all these pieces were at the scene there would have been some photographs that showed these pieces at the scene,” said Webb.

Bratton’s sister said the pieces that matched Brown’s SUV were photographed and collected

“So how does it just mysteriously match? The pieces come together to match this man's Land Rover. It doesn't make sense,” said Sheri Bratton.

Webb said Brown, a finance director at a college, was fired because of this. He said his client was elated with the jury’s decision.