The Bad Seed: They got away with murder in a Leonardtown alley, where a new generation gathers to listen to music, sip smoothies, and gaze at murals next to where Whitey Woodburn was beaten to death.

The Bad Seed

By Ken Rossignol

David-Allen-Brooks-III arrest-photo-St.-Marys County-Jail




St. Mary’s County Grand Jury issued an indictment on July 17, 2023, for David Allen Brooks III. Brooks (DOB 1/25/1997) of 42762 St. Johns Road, Hollywood, Maryland, appeared for a bail bond hearing before Circuit Court Judge Amy Lorenzini on July 20, 2023. Judge David Densford will preside over a hearing status on August 25, 2023. The criminal counts placed against Brooks are felony first-degree assault, misdemeanor second-degree assault, misdemeanor arson threats, and felony use of a firearm in a violent crime.  An arrest warrant was issued by Judge Joseph Stanalonis on July 18, 2023, which was served on July 19, 2023, resulting in his arrest and incarceration.

David Allen Brooks was found not guilty of the murder of Francis Abell Whitey Woodburn in 1982 in the trial in 1993. Brooks confessed to acting as the getaway driver for Joe Joy when he murdered his uncle as they robbed him and set his house on fire. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo


David Allen Brooks Jr (DOB 8/21/1961) of 42762 St. Johns Road, Hollywood, Maryland, was brought to St. Mary’s Circuit Court on March 20, 2006, for non-payment of child support of a minor child on behalf of Tammy Lynn Wathen, of Leonardtown. During the course of the time the case was before the court, Judge Michael Stamm twice ordered bench warrants for the arrest of David Allen Brooks Jr. Circuit Court Judge Stamm ordered a body attachment for failing to appear in court on July 21, 2008, and on February 17, 2009, ordered a body attachment for Brooks for failing to pay his child support. Judge David Densford was scheduled to participate in two hearings in Circuit Court for his former client in this matter, one on May 2, 2012, and again on June 20, 2012. Court records show that on May 2, 2012, Judge Densford recused himself and advised that the hearing would have to be heard before another judge.

Joe-Joy-after-being-acquitted-in-Calvert-Circuit-Court-for-the-murder-of-his-uncle.- Photo from The Enterprise April 1980

The May hearing for contempt was held in Court Room 3, and the contempt hearing set for June 20, 2012, was canceled, according to court records. On November 12, 2008, in Circuit Court, Brooks admitted being in arrears on his child support payments in the amount of $8,296.71 and was sentenced to 179 days in jail.


A foreclosure action was initiated against David Allen Brooks and Shirley Ann Brooks at 42919 St. Johns Road, Hollywood, Maryland in St. Mary’s Circuit Court on December 8, 2008. The outcome took place on April 11, 2011, when David Allen Brooks transferred the property to HSBC Bank USA.

St. Mary’s County States Attorney Walter Dorsey filed murder charges against David Allen Brooks and James Aubrey Bowles Jr.,

David Allen Brooks was charged in Whitey Woodburn murder and also with Joe Joy in the murder of his uncle John Joy on Macintosh Road Hollywood Md in 1978,

David Allen Brooks must have been wondering what he entered a guilty plea to doing after learning that the man he testified had brutally and viciously taken the life of John Jackson Joy, Joseph Joy, was found not guilty in a retrial in Calvert County Circuit Court in 1980.
Brooks had another opportunity to see a courtroom trial on a murder charge when he was charged on March 19, 1993, in St. Mary’s District Court with first and second-degree murder in the death of Francis Abell “Whitey” Woodburn Jr. Brooks was represented by David Densford, who successfully won an acquittal for his client.

An ominous reminder that in 1982, two men dragged Whitey Woodburn out of the Town Inn to this alley, and witnesses in their trial testified that they watched them beat Woodburn to death. In 2022, this cross was left in the alley. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

This trial was yet another case of a jury not wanting to take the word of gypsies, tramps, druggies, and thieves. Not that the witnesses in this case of alleged murder were members of that group.
The prosecution put forth the scenario that Brooks and his associate James Aubrey Bowles Jr. decided to teach Woodburn, the town drunk, a lesson and beat the stuffing out of him in the alley next to the Town Inn bar.

The mural on the side of the building adjacent to the alley where the small white cross lays near the spot where White Cloud (Whitey) Woodburn was murdered does not mention the homicide. This photo was taken in 2022. THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

The fundamental problem is that often, the only witnesses to a crime are not Sunday school teachers or the local pharmacist but instead are folks of somewhat untrustworthy reputations.
The attorney for Brooks hammered the lack of veracity of the witnesses and the changing stories, but it was the work of Richard Fritz doing much the same in pretrial motions that set the tone for the trial.

When-the-Town-Inn-burned-in-1994-the-building-was-never-rebuilt.-Whitey-Woodburn-was-dragged-from-the-building-and-murdered-in-the-alley.- THE CHESAPEAKE TODAY photo

The Town Inn burned one icy winter night and was never rebuilt. Today, the vacant lot has been turned into a small park. One can sit on a bench there and imagine the fatal beating that two men delivered to the head and face of Woodburn that Memorial Day weekend.
Brooks and his cohort, James Aubrey Bowles Jr., were alleged to have taken Woodburn’s body and dumped it along the roadway on Rt. 5 going up the hill on the southbound side and left it. When found, the first autopsy revealed that Woodburn must have been struck by a vehicle as he staggered along Rt. 5, as he was often seen doing.
Being fairly down low on the society stratus of Leonardtown, not too much attention was paid to how he was killed or who killed him, or if it was even a murder at all.

See the rest of the story about the murder trial with exclusive comments from Rick Fritz in MURDER USA.

Deputy States Attorney Richard Fritz with a shotgun in a drug raid in Lexington Estates on Great Mills Road. ST. MARY’S TODAY photo

SEE MORE of the details of the murder and the rest of the story now available in Kindle and paperback, and hardcover, coming soon in Audible, at Amazon MURDER USA: True Crime, Real Killers 

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