Attorney: Accused Father, Daughter Killer has Significant Mental Issues

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BRYAN, Texas - An attorney for a man accused in the brutal stabbing deaths of a father and daughter says the case isn't as open and shut as people may think.

A grand jury recently indicted Dennis Brown for capital murder in the deaths of Noel and Mac Devin.

"We felt like the grand jury would return an indictment, so we're not shocked that this has happened," said Brown's attorney, Billy Carter.

Carter said his client is handling the news of a potential death sentence as well as anyone would.

"Anybody that gets charged with capital murder, they're concerned about it," said Carter. "because there could be a potential death penalty."

The details of the indictment are difficult to read. According to the indictment, Brown stabbed Noel and Mac to death at Noel's home in Bryan, poured some type of fuel in the home, then lit the house on fire. Brown is also accused of stealing a Timex watch, some canned beer and Noel's car.

Police found Brown at a nearby motel room later that same day. Noel's stolen car was parked outside.

Brown had just been released from prison four days before the house fire, after serving a 15-year sentence for aggravated robbery in Bryan.

Carter said it's anything but an open and shut case.

"I think in this particular case, there are things in Dennis Brown's background that I think are going to be very important in defending him," said Carter.

Carter said Brown has a history with mental issues, but wouldn't elaborate on what those issues might be.

Noel's mother, Karla, has so far not spoken to the media about the deaths of her husband and daughter. In an email sent to the district attorney's office, she made it clear she wants to keep it that way.

"The family of the late Dr. Thomas Mac Devin and Noel Devin will not make a comment. Please do not ask my immediate family, or any of our family to make a comment," Karla said in the statement.

Carter said he hasn't yet decided on whether to request a change of venue if the case heads to court.

"That's something we'll have to look at as we get more involved in the case," said Carter. "I know the case has gotten a lot of publicity at this time, and that's something you always have to be mindful of."

In addition to the capital murder charge, Brown has been charged with arson, burglary of a habitation, and unauthorized use of a motor vehicle.