CHANDLER, AZ - A possible mix-up involving twins in Chandler could have an innocent man in jail and a killer out free.
The suspected killer, Orlando Nembhard, has a twin brother who some witnesses at the crime scene said is the real murderer.
At Nembhard’s court hearing at Superior Court in Maricopa County in Phoenix, the uncertainty and other issues were enough to convince the judge to lower Nembhard’s bond from $500,000 to $10,000 cash.
"This is a case of mistaken identity," said Nembhard's attorney, Jason Lamm over the phone Thursday. Lamm went on to say, as noted in court filings, that there are conflicting descriptions and statements given by witnesses.
The change angered the family of the victim, Sir Xavier Brooks.
Chandler police say Nembhard shot Brooks to death in February. Investigators say it happened after a fight spilled outside Leonardo's DaVincci Code nightclub near Arizona Avenue and Warner Road.
Brooks’ family explained how it happened.
"When [Xavier] threw his hands up, he said he didn't want any trouble, and they shot him anyway," Brooks’ grandmother Barbara Jones said.
"I'm angry, very angry," said Brooks' father, Ronald Brooks. "Now that we're hearing this other story that maybe you know it's another brother or this brother or whatever brother it is, you know one of them [did] it."
Nembhard has been in jail ever since the shooting, but he could be released and not charged with murder if the court decides Nembhard's twin brother Brandon was the shooter.
"Having a twin brother at the location at the site of the incident probably complicated things as well,” said Chandler officer Seth Tyler. “We're having conflicting statements from witnesses saying it's one brother. Some are saying it's the other brother."
Brooks' family sat in court Thursday, staring at Nembhard and listening to his court hearing. Brooks' family says the twin brother confusion needs to be dealt with.
"They need to put them in a room and let them battle it out,” Jones said. “Who's going to do the time? Everybody knows it [was] one or the other. They keep saying it's this one or it's that one. They may have changed clothes outside the club."
Brooks' family tells us they will not be able to rest until his true killer is sentenced for his crime.
"My grandson does not deserve to have his death go in vain. It's too much pain, and it's too hard," Jones said.
Nembhard's twin brother Brandon is currently free. When asked if things change and it turns out Brandon is the guilty one, and not Orlando, Chandler police admitted Brandon being free is a flight risk.
Despite that, they have no current plans of arresting him right now.
Copyright 2011 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Did You Hear?
As the holidays keep creeping forward and the temperatures drop, it's important to keep your loveable pets warm as well.
Sgt. Jason Cullum of the Evansville Police Department in Indiana was going about his day in his cruiser when he spied an object in the middle of the road.
Nelson Mandela said a lot of great things. But after his death, he's being widely credited on social media with a phrase he didn't utter.
More Chandler News
A Chandler man was arrested Wednesday after an undercover investigation led to the bust of an alleged prostitution ring run out of an apartment, police documents said.