Two brothers were convicted Thursday of a violent murder inside the oldest, still-active African American social club in the country.
A jury found Tyrell Jacobs, 24, guilty of first-degree murder for firing the shot that killed Eric Brown Jr. inside the Star Social Club in West Chester in April 2018. His older sibling, Timothy Jacobs, 25, was convicted of third-degree murder for his role in the slaying, which took place at the height of an argument among the three men inside the establishment.
Sentencing for the two men was deferred by Common Pleas Court Judge Jeffrey R. Sommer. The younger Jacobs faces life in prison.
His attorney, Thomas Patrick McCabe, declined to comment Friday. Stewart Paintin, Timothy Jacob’s attorney, did not respond to a request for comment.
The fatal shooting was captured on surveillance cameras and showed a fight that quickly escalated from blows to gunfire.
“This case is a great example of how powerful video evidence can be,” said First Assistant District Attorney Michael Noone. “And when a location has surveillance cameras, how critical that evidence can be for the prosecution of any crime that takes place there.”
Brown, 26, had just finished a basketball game at nearby West Chester University, according to court documents, when he arrived at the club shortly before the Jacobs brothers walked in. They picked a fight with Brown almost immediately, a dispute that stemmed from the game.
Eventually, Tyrell Jacobs threw a punch at Brown, leading other patrons to intervene, police said. After Jacobs punched Brown a second time, Brown fought back.
The brothers ganged up on Brown, chasing him around the club’s bar area and pool tables, brandishing guns, before finally catching Brown at the rear of the club, the documents said.
Brown then tried to leave the club through a back door, but was trapped, unarmed, in a small, locked room, according to investigators. It was in that room that Tyrell Jacobs shot Brown once in the chest as his brother stood at the door with his gun drawn.
The whole ordeal, from first argument to the final shot, lasted less than 10 minutes, according to prosecutors.