When Trayon Washington was first interviewed by Mobile police homicide detectives regarding the July 7, 2012, fatal shooting of Wendy Fisher, Sgt. Charles Bagsby foreshadowed the verdict.
“You can keep saying you didn’t have anything to do with the (murder of Fisher) and you can keep saying that. When the time comes, you’ll bring your side to the courtroom and I’ll bring my evidence and people,” he said. “When the jury comes back and says you’re guilty of murder, you’ll look at me and realize what I’m telling you is right. You need to start talking.”
Washington, who was the shooter, and co-defendant Pat Brown, who was the driver of the car, were both found guilty of murder Jan. 17 after the jury deliberated for nearly a day.
Gabriel Tynes / Lagniappe
On the day of the crime, Washington and Brown were near Racine Avenue, where Fisher lived, because Washington was selling crack, which he admitted in a videoed interview played in court. Brown was driving a silver Nissan Altima while Fisher was outside her home. She ran to get one of her dogs as Brown was speeding down the street.
As the car slowed to a stop, Fisher and Brown got into an argument and then he drove a short way and stopped the car again. That’s when Washington got out of the car and fired a gun. The fatal bullet hit Fisher, but during testimony, it became clear the shooter was aiming for someone else — Fisher’s boyfriend Robert Russo.
Following the guilty verdict, Russo said he has learned to deal with survivor’s guilt.
“At the end of the day, you have to realize it wasn’t me who died. I didn’t have the gun and I didn’t pull the trigger. I didn’t kill Wendy,” he said.
Even though the verdict doesn’t bring Fisher back, Russo was glad he could help get justice for his girlfriend.
“You never get over it, but I knew I had a job to do,” he said. “I knew I had to get up there and tell the jury what I saw. I’m glad it worked.”
Fisher’s daughter Madelynn North, who also testified, said she wasn’t sure she could make it to the witness stand, but was glad she did.
“It was pretty difficult. I didn’t know if I could look in (Washington and Brown’s) faces, but I did it and I’m glad,” she said. “I’ve learned I have to move forward and not stay in the past.
“(Since the murder) it’s been a roller coaster. Some days are good and some are bad. Today is a good day.”
On the other side of the courtroom, Washington’s mother Charlene Washington is still holding out hope.
“He was not responsible for the death of Wendy Fisher. I know my son and he did not kill her,” she said. “I’m sorry for their loss, but I keep praying for my son because he did not kill her.”
Brown’s lawyer Jason Darley was disappointed in the verdict as well, but said it is not over.
“We still have a number of motions so this isn’t finished,” he said. “I still believe and I believe the evidence shows that Pat Brown was not an accomplice. People in the car that day testified that no one knew Trayon had a gun. They testified it was not planned. I truly believe Pat Brown is not guilty of murder.”
Brown and Washington will appear before Judge Micheal Youngpeter again on Feb. 27 at 2 p.m. when they are sentenced.