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  • Jefferson Weaver

Murderer Considered for Parole

One of the two men who ambushed and murdered a Columbus Sheriff’s Deputy in 1991 could be paroled.

Michael T. Brown, 49, was sentenced to life plus 70 years for the shooting of Cpl. Robert “Bob” Hinson. Brown and Aquino Williams called 911 to report a fake break-in because Williams wanted to kill a law enforcement officer, according to testimony in the case.

Hinson responded to the call and was ambushed by the two men on Mill pond Road. Hinson was shot at close range. The defendants then fled the scene in Hinson’s vehicle, taking several firearms with them.

Williams and Brown were convicted of first degree murder and other charges in Brunswick County Superior Court, where the case was moved due to pre-trial publicity. They were both sentenced to life plus 70 years. Because North Carolina used structured sentencing at the time, Brown is eligible for a parole hearing. Structured sentencing was eliminated in 1994.

The N.C. Post-Release Supervision and Parole Commission said in a press release that Brown is eligible for release under the Mutual Agreement Parole Program (MAPP). Under MAPP, inmates must meet scholastic and vocational requirements to be considered for parole. MAPP requirements are negotiated between the offender, the commission, and the Division of Prisons.

The commission is investigating whether to consider Brown for parole, the release said. Both supporters and opponents of Brown’s release will be interviewed, and evidence in the case will be considered before a decision is rendered.

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