Twin Brothers Complicate Arizona Murder Investigation
Eyewitnesses disagree over which twin allegedly shot Sir Xavier Brooks.
July 29, 2011— -- Orlando Nembhard has been in an Arizona since March 28 on murder charges, but he is poised to be released on bail because investigators now aren't certain whether the suspect in jail should be Orlando or his twin brother Brandon.
Orlando Nembhard's bond was lowered from $500,000 to $10,000 on Thursday after it was determined that there wasn't enough evidence to keep Orlando Nembhard in jail for the murder of 19-year-old Sir Xavier Brooks who was shot and killed outside an Arizona nightclub on Feb. 12.
Witness accounts are contradictory and provided enough evidence, the defendant's attorney says, to argue that this could be a case of mistaken identity.
"Conflicting descriptions were initially given by witnesses with some witnesses describing the defendant (by his clothing) as the shooter and others describing his twin brother as the shooter," reads the motion filed by Orlando Nembhard's attorney earlier this week.
Police do not have the murder weapon or forensic evidence, so the conflicting eyewitness accounts have complicated the case for prosecutors.
Prosecutors Seeing Double Deciding Which Twin Is a Murder Suspect
"I can tell you that both look very, very similar. Any normal person seeing them side-by-side would see instantaneously that they're twins. With circumstances like these, it's easy to see how they could be confused," said Jerry Cobb, the public information officer for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office.
"Witnesses at the incidents saw different things and have different ideas," said Cobb.
Police say that on Feb. 12, a fight erupted outside of Leonardo's DaVincci Code nightclub in Chandler, Ariz., and estimate that around 20 people were present for the shooting. Officer Donna Reno of the Chandler police department said that the amount of witnesses is what makes this case complicated.
"So many witnesses have been very uncooperative with investigators," she said.
Emotions ran high inside the Arizona court room where a judge lowered Orlando Nembhard's bail on Thursday.
The victim's father, Ronald Brooks, was pushed out of the court room after he erupted with anger at the lessened bond. He later told ABC News affiliate KNXV that it's the uncertainty that makes everything more difficult.
"I'm angry, very angry," said Brooks. "Now that we're hearing this other story that maybe you know it's another brother or this brother or whatever brother it is, you know one of them [did] it."
Nembhard's attorney Jason Lamm said his client isn't guilty.
"He's frustrated that he's sitting in jail for a crime he didn't commit… He's relieved to know that there's light at the end of the tunnel for him, and yesterday was the first step," said Lamm.
Public record shows that Orlando Nembhard has faced charges of burglary and marijuana possession in the past. Four of the cases were dismissed and he has pleaded guilty to a marijuana violation and possession of burglary tools. Brandon Nembhard does not appear to have a criminal record.