December 6, 2012 at 1:00 am

3 Hamtramck murder defendants 'did it for the money' prosecutor says

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Detroit — Three of five defendants charged in the killings of two Hamtramck women "did it for the money," an assistant Wayne County prosecutor said Wednesday during closing arguments at their trial.

Cousins Reginald Brown and Jeremy Brown were the "general contractor" and "subcontractor" in the plot to kill Abreeya Brown, 18, and Ashley Conaway, 22, assistant county prosecutor Molly Kettler told jurors in Wayne County Circuit Court.

A third cousin, Miguel Rodriguez, was portrayed as "the go between" in the plot to kidnap, torture and kill the two young women.

Prosecutors allege the three men helped fellow defendants Brandon Cain and Brian Lee in planning the deaths of the two women, who were abducted outside their Andrus Street home Feb. 28. Rodriguez has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.

The bodies of Abreeya Brown and Conaway were found gagged and bound in a shallow grave in late March in a wooded area near Telegraph and West McNichols.

Both had been shot in the head.

The women, prosecutors say, were killed because they went to police after being involved in a shooting in early February in which Conaway received a slight head wound. Cain and Lee were charged and convicted in that case.

Rebuttal closing arguments begin today, followed by jury deliberations in the trial, being heard before Judge Vonda Evans.

During Wednesday's closing arguments, the graphic pictures of the bodies of the two slain women in the makeshift grave in Eliza Howell Park were shown to jurors.

"They couldn't cry out for help. They could not escape," Kettler told jurors.

"They could not avoid seeing. Their eyes were uncovered."

bwilliams@detroitnews.com

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