Judge denies motion to suppress evidence in 2010 murder case

Published 5:25 pm Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Late Monday, Chilton County Circuit Judge Sibley Reynolds denied a motion to suppress certain evidence involving a 2010 murder case.

A suppression hearing for Tonya Renee Vandyke, 44, accused of murdering Tracy Brown, 44, of Clanton, in 2010, was held at the Chilton County Courthouse.

Vandyke faces two counts of capital murder involving murder in commission of rape in the first degree and murder in commission of sodomy in the first degree in connection with the death of Brown.

Defense attorneys for Vandyke argued that certain evidence and testimony surrounding Vandyke should not be introduced by prosecutors at Vandyke’s trial, which is scheduled to begin August 24, according to court records.

One of the motions filed by the defense indicates Vandyke was not capable of understanding her rights or of making voluntary and intelligent choices to waive her Fifth Amendment privilege when making statements to law enforcement prior to her arrest.

Prosecutors called several witnesses to the stand Monday to testify how they interviewed Vandyke after the murder occurred and how Vandyke was advised of her Miranda Rights.

Several investigators with the Chilton County Sheriff’s Department offered testimony suggesting that Vandyke did not appear to be incoherent and was aware of her rights.

Motions filed by the defense to suppress evidence to be used in the upcoming trial were denied by Reynolds.

In May 2014, a Chilton County jury heard gruesome and graphic details about the way James Osgood and Vandyke attacked Brown on Oct. 13, 2010, in her bedroom.

Osgood is a co-defendant in the case and was Vandyke’s boyfriend at the time of the murder.

He was sentenced to death in June 2014 by Reynolds on two capital murder convictions.

Osgood and Vandyke are being tried separately.

Both Osgood and Vandyke forced Brown at gunpoint to perform sexual acts with both of them before Osgood slashed Brown’s neck several times with a knife or knife-like object and later in the back twice before she died on the bedroom floor of her trailer off County Road 24.

Vandyke was Brown’s first cousin.

Vandyke, dressed in a bright orange jail jumpsuit with chains around her wrists and ankles, was present in court Monday.