A man charged with murder in a July 11 Southeast Decatur shooting death after police recovered ammunition and what they believed was blood from his apartment was released on bail Tuesday.
Police in an affidavit said defendant Allen Deshaun Brandon, 40, made the 2:30 a.m. 911 call that led to the discovery of the body of 44-year-old Jason Edward Tapscott outside apartments at 1606 North St. S.E. Brandon resided in one of the apartments.
"Officers (responding to the 911 call) learned that the caller, Allen Brandon, stated that the male had come to his apartment asking for help," Decatur police Sgt. Michael Burleson wrote in a Morgan County District Court search warrant affidavit.
In another affidavit, Burleson said Tapscott had a single gunshot wound to the chest.
“During the course of the investigation, it was determined that Tapscott was at Brandon’s house that evening and an altercation ensued. During the altercation, Brandon produced a handgun and shot Tapscott,” Burleson wrote in the criminal complaint.
Tapscott's sister, Amber Tapscott, said her understanding from police is that her brother, who worked on TVs and electronics, was at the apartment complex to help Brandon.
"He was simply going there to hang a TV on this guy's wall, but he was running about two hours behind on his schedule. That's why he was there so late. The investigator told us he was simply there to do his job, and got killed doing an act of kindness," Amber Tapscott said.
She said police have not told the family any motive for the shooting.
Jason Tapscott’s body was found next to his blue Toyota Land Cruiser. “A single bullet hole was located in the windshield of the vehicle,” Burleson wrote in an affidavit seeking a search warrant.
When officers arrived at Brandon's apartment, they "observed blood on the door of the apartment and saw what they believed to be … blood in the apartment,” Burleson wrote.
Police had Brandon and his 14-year-old son step outside the apartment while they did a “protective sweep,” at which time they saw what they believed to be more blood on the kitchen floor and on a wall leading to the kitchen.
At 5:13 a.m. the day of the shooting, Decatur police executed a search warrant of the apartment and took swabs of the blood-like substance, a cellphone, and several boxes of 9mm and .223 caliber ammunition. The search warrant does not indicate they found a gun.
Another search warrant was obtained later that day for both the apartment and Brandon’s vehicle, a 2005 Chevy Uplander van located at the property. Nothing was recovered in the second search, according to the search warrant execution.
Another search warrant was executed for surveillance video from Busy Bee gas station at 1010 19th Ave. S.E., about a mile north of the scene of the shooting.
“Witnesses in the case advised that the surveillance system located at Busy Bee … captured video evidence which could corroborate accounts of witness testimony,” Burleson wrote July 12 in securing the search warrant.
Also on July 12, Burleson obtained a search warrant for location and call information for Tapscott’s cellphone number.
Burleson said Tapscott’s phone was not on his body and a search for it was unsuccessful.
“It is believed that Tapscott’s cellphone, and the records maintained by Verizon Wireless, could contain information vital to the investigation,” Burleson wrote.
Police arrested Brandon on July 19, and Morgan County Circuit Judge Charles Elliott on Tuesday set bond at $100,000. He was released from jail the same day after Decatur resident Carey Wiggins put up three properties as an appearance bond.
“He’s a friend of the family and his family asked our family to post the bond for them, because they said he was innocent,” Wiggins said Thursday. “He’s always been a good guy to me. I’ve known him for the last 25-30 years.”
Wiggins said Brandon’s call to 911 suggests he is innocent.
“That don’t sound like nobody that committed no murder to me,” Wiggins said.
Brandon did not return a phone call Thursday.
According to Morgan County Circuit Court records, Brandon was previously arrested in May 2010 and ultimately pleaded guilty in November 2012 to two counts of unlawful distribution of a controlled substance. He was sentenced to three years in the Morgan County Community Corrections program.
Jason Tapscott was a volunteer coach for the Decatur Youth Football League and also coached youth baseball.
"He was a great inspiration to youth," said Amber Tapscott. "He had a lot of kids that looked up to him. If you were a child and didn't have a father figure in your life, he would try to step up and be that guy. For kids that didn't have Christmas, he was always there to be the Secret Santa.
"He always wanted to teach kids the fundamentals of sports and sportsmanship. That's really what he put his heart into. A lot of kids are really saddened by this. It's affected a lot of people, not just my family."
Jason Tapscott was an avid University of Alabama fan, and regularly took Amber's son to Alabama football games, she said.
"He coached my (11-year-old) son since he was 4," she said. "He had a special bond with all kinds of children."
Tapscott was survived by his father, two sisters, a nephew, a niece and two great-nieces.