HILLSBOROUGH — A judge sentenced Brandon Greene on Monday to life in prison without parole plus about eight years in prison for the kidnapping and murder of Josh Bailey in 2008.
Greene, 31, was the last of the six main co-defendants in the shooting death of Bailey, 20. Greene, along with five others, bound Bailey, drove him out to the countryside northwest of Carrboro and executed him.
Bailey’s mother, Julie Bailey, said Greene, who was living in a house on Sourwood Circle in Chapel Hill where some of the younger co-defendants lived and hung out, sanctioned their criminal behavior by allowing the teenagers to drink, use drugs and store stolen property there.
“Testimony I heard at this trial made it clear to me Brandon Greene got satisfaction living the life of a gangster-like thug,” Julie Bailey said, reading in court from a statement.
Trial testimony told the story of how a group of teenagers that included Brian Minton, Jack Johnson II, Jacob Maxwell, Ryan Lee and Matt Johnson drank, used and sold drugs, and committed crimes together. The group, including Greene, thought Matt Johnson was snitching on them, and they confronted him in a garage at Minton’s house. Johnson deflected the blame onto Bailey.
“Brandon Greene shoved a revolver into his belt and ranted like a gangster he intentionally emulated, making repeated statements about how he would have to deal with any snitch among them,” Julie Bailey said. “He tapped out time on the table. He was the driving force, the timekeeper, to keep the crimes about to be committed moving along.”
They bound Josh Bailey and took him in an SUV to a wooded area just a few blocks from where Bailey’s family lived. They walked him into the woods carrying shovels, and under order from Minton, Matt Johnson shot and killed Bailey as he proclaimed his innocence.
“He wanted to be there,” Julie Bailey said of Greene. “He wanted to be part of that evil, and he made no attempt to remove himself from what was going on.”
“In the end you were all cowards who didn’t have the courage to tell 18-year-old Brian Minton to stop! Enough! This is wrong!” Julie Bailey said. “If any of them had any conscience at all maybe what they allowed to happen to Josh will haunt them for the rest of their lives.”
Josh Bailey told the truth when he said he wasn’t a snitch, she said.
“I hope each of them are awakened every night with the nightmare of Josh saying, ‘Guys, I didn’t do this,’” Julie Bailey said.
Before he was sentenced, Greene turned and apologized to the Bailey family, saying he was truly sorry for what he had done. He told Superior Court Judge Allen Baddour and Orange-Chatham District Attorney Jim Woodall that he would accept his punishment and would hold no grudge against either of them.
Baddour sentenced Greene to life in prison without parole for the murder and kidnapping. He also sentenced him to a consecutive sentence of six years and five months to eight years and six months for the conspiracy to commit kidnapping.