A Kern County judge Wednesday sentenced convicted murderer and serial rapist Michael Charles Brown to death for the “cold, vicious” killing of a Bakersfield mother of four.
Brown, 40, showed no emotion as Judge Kenneth C. Twisselman sentenced him to death for the murder of Ruby Lee Jackson-Meriweather in 2000. Brown sexually assaulted her, and stabbed her numerous times in the head and neck with enough force that he severed her spine.
Her body was found by one of her children in her home in the 500 block of Grace Street.
Brown also received several life terms in prison for a series of rapes he committed between 2007 and 2008. The judge called Brown’s acts “repulsive crimes of violence.”
Prosecutor Felicia Nagle said afterward she was “absolutely pleased” with the sentence. A jury convicted Brown of 17 counts in January.
“He’s a serial rapist and a danger to society, and the death penalty is appropriate,” she said.
Brown sexually assaulted four prostitutes, two of whom positively identified him as their attacker from a selection of six photographs. The women told investigators Brown drove them in a car to secluded locations and forced them to perform sex acts.
He beat and choked the women, and in some instances sodomized them with a foreign object, court filings say. One woman said Brown told her he would kill her if she didn’t do what he wanted.
"I have killed other (women) before. Do what I say and you won't get hurt,“ the woman said Brown told her.
Another woman said he told her he killed and raped other women in the cellar of a house near Emerson Junior High School, according to the filings. Police said the street he named was where Brown's father lived.
Brown was incarcerated from 2003 until November 2007 for a drunken driving, vehicular manslaughter conviction. His car struck 40-year-old Gary White as White tried to cross Union Avenue at 10th Street.
The impact lodged White's body in the car's windshield and on its hood. Brown told police he pulled over at a nearby Wienerschnitzel and White's body rolled off the car.
He drove away but was arrested a short time later.
Lastly, Brown was a person of interest in the May 28, 2001 killing of Wendy Kyle. She was stabbed to death and her Oildale home set ablaze.
An acquaintance of Kyle's, Brown was seen with her at the downtown bar The Mint the day of her death. He was questioned by homicide detectives, but no charges have been filed in her killing.