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DINWIDDIE, VA (WWBT) -
A Chesterfield man accused of murdering a Virginia State Police Trooper appeared before a Dinwiddie judge Friday, telling the court his fate seemed to be sealed.
"I don't understand these charges," said 28-year-old Russell E. Brown. "I only killed one person so why do I have two murder charges?"
Prosecutor Lisa Caruso said Brown did not understand why he faces a capital murder charge and a capital attempted murder charge. Brown is accused of killing Master Trooper Junius A. Walker and engaging in a shoot-out with responding officers. Both counts carry the possibility of the death penalty or life in prison.
In a black and white prison jumpsuit, Brown appeared to be unfazed by the gravity of the charges and told Judge Valentine Southall he wanted to represent himself.
"Y'all are going to execute me anyway," Brown told the judge. "Why would I need an attorney?"
Under capital murder cases defendants in Virginia are required to have a lawyer. Brown could possibly be represented by two court-appointed lawyers by the time the case heads to trial. Dinwiddie attorney Joseph Teete was appointed to preliminarily represent Brown.
Brown will next appear in Dinwiddie General District Court March 18 at 11:00 a.m. The appearance will cover Brown's status of obtaining a lawyer and set a date for a preliminary hearing.
After Brown was taken out of the courtroom, Caruso told reporters she personally knew Master Trooper Walker, a veteran of the Virginia State Police who was shot and killed Thursday on I-85.
"I remember we would look at pictures of my daughter in my office and I would look at his granddaughter in his office," Caruso said. "He was a kind and compassionate man, and this is… a difficult time for all of us."
Brown is currently held without bond at Meherrin River Regional Jail in Brunswick County.