Brian Brewer, a member of the San Diego charter of the Hells Angels Motorcycle Club who is currently serving four life sentences at the California State Prison at Centinela, has been diagnosed with Stage Four lung cancer. The disease has metastasized to his lymph nodes and bones. His condition is painful and incurable. He is probably innocent of the charges that led to his imprisonment.
Brewer was found guilty by a jury of four counts of second-degree robbery and three counts of false imprisonment with a “three strikes enhancement” in 2005. He appealed the convictions to the California Court of Appeal in 2005 and the California Supreme Court in 2006. Both appeals were denied.
Friends and supporters of Brewer have posted a petition that asks that the dying man be granted a compassionate release so that he can die at home. The warden, prison doctor and the Bureau of Prisons supports the petition. You can read and sign that petition here.
Brian Brewer was convicted of robbing a credit union in Northridge, California on April 16, 2002. The robber entered the bank around closing time, demanded money from a new accounts representative and two tellers and escaped with $1700 including two “bait bills.” Afterward the three employees could not agree on a general description of the robber except that he had acne scars. Brewer does not have such scars.
The three witness all filled out “robbery kits” immediately after the robbery as part of standard credit union operating procedure but all three kits were lost. Three months later, one of the employees identified Brewer as the robber from a photo lineup. None of the stolen money, including the bait bills, was ever recovered.
Witnesses told police and stated at trial that at the time of the robbery Brewer was in Phoenix helping a friend prepare to host a vendor booth for the Laughlin River Run later that month. At the time of the robbery a notoriously corrupt, federal investigation of the Hells Angels in Arizona had already begun. One facet of that investigation focused on Hells Angels in the San Diego and San Fernando Valley charters.
A Los Angeles Police Department forensics technician lifted seven fingerprints from the crime scene. None of them matched Brewer. At trial, the technician stated that he could “not recall” whether he had dusted or examined any the surfaces in the credit union that the robber was known to have touched. No conclusive physical evidence connected Brewer to the robbery.
Brewer has consistently maintained his innocence over the last 10 years.