As I go through my list of names that I have put together of cases to research I do not always know just where the name came from or even what the case entails. Sometimes I put a little note next to it and it helps but then there are the times where I begin my research and think “Oh yeah! I remember this one!” This was one of those cases. While I consider myself rather good at remembering names and details on a vast number of true crime cases, like many the ones I remember most are the high profile cases that anyone involved in true crime remember. While obviously this case grabbed attention somewhere or it is unlikely that I would have heard about it, it is not in the realm of say Anthony, Broderick , or MacDonald. It definitely does not rise to the level of Mason, Gacy or Bundy. And yet still it has it's own shocking and almost unique details.
Steven Brown and his wife Deborah were married for about seventeen years before she finally left him in early 1999 and filed for divorce in Newfield New York. The marriage had apparently been riddled with abuse. On March 22nd of that year Deborah had been granted full custody of their two children. The courts had found merit in Deborah's claims of abuse towards her and their children and Steven was ordered to have no contact. Deborah had also been granted the right to move to Maine with the children and she had done so. Just seven days later things would come to a head in Lebanon Maine where Deborah was now living.
Late in the evening on March 29, 1999 there was a knock at a door. The home was occupied by Deborah, her two children, her brother, Donald Wood Jr., and their father. Also there that night was Donald's girlfriend and Deborah's new boyfriend, Christopher Brouillard. Donald would open the door and find a woman there saying that she was having car trouble just down the road and would he be willing to help. Donald left and followed the woman down the drive. Donald had not been gone for very long before another knock came to the door. This time Christopher Brouillard would answer. Again, it was the same woman as before saying that Donald needed some help and would he be willing to help. Like Donald, Christopher left, following the woman. Then a third knock came. This time Deborah came to the door and once again, as she had the two previous times, the woman was asking for someone else to come help with the car. This time Deborah went but unlike the two men she got into her car and drove down the way. This is when her own nightmare would continue. I do not say it began because she had already been living a nightmare and it had not completely ended before that night.
As Deborah got down to where the supposed troubled car was parked and got out of her own vehicle to see what was going on she would spot her estranged husband, Steven Brown hiding in the woods. She did not see Donald or Christopher. She attempted to get away but Steven and the mysterious woman would soon catch up with her and force her into their car.
The woman accompanying Steven Brown was Patricia Teeter. She has been described as someone who was a friend of Steven's but apparently she had an infatuation with him that most believe he used to get her help. Patricia would later say that Steven had asked her on the 27th to go to Maine with him to retrieve his dog from his soon to be ex wife. She agreed and they loaded up her car and left the following day. Patricia would admit that she knew Steven was angry about the fact that the courts had granted Deborah custody of their children and forbid him contact. She would also admit to seeing Steven pack at least two guns into her car. But, she would attempt to maintain that she had no idea what his plan was. The two would leave Newfield New York and stop in New Hampshire to rent a vehicle. They then drove to Lebanon Maine where prosecutors would later claim they spent the early hours of the evening spying on the home.
It would be determined that when Donald Wood had gone down to the supposed broken car Steven Brown would come out of the wooded area and hit him across the head with a pipe. He then dragged Donald's body into the woods where he stabbed him twice and then covered his body with leaves. An autopsy would later reveal that the stabbing had been unnecessary as the blow to the head had been fatal. After this had occurred, Steven directed Patricia to go back up to the home and retrieve someone else. It had apparently been his plan to lure the occupants of the home to the car one by one until the only ones left would be Deborah and the children. Patricia did as she was told and this time came back with Christopher in tow. Steven either suspected or knew that Christopher was now dating his wife. Just as he had done with Donald, once Christopher and Patricia were down at the vehicle he came out of the woods. Only this time he would question Christopher about his relationship with Deborah before first hitting him on the head and then stabbing him, leaving him in the woods, just as he had Donald. Once again Steven would have Patricia go back to the home. This time they expected to see Donald's girlfriend except Deborah had come this time.
Once Patricia and Steven were able to subdue Deborah and get her into their rental car they headed back toward New York. They stopped back in New Hampshire to return the rental car, but not before wiping it down and securing Deborah first. The three then continued on their trip. That night they made it to Greenbush New York where allegedly Steven told Patricia to secure adjoining rooms at a motel. Patricia would occupy one of the rooms while Steven and Deborah were in the other. Steven had removed the phone from his room, giving it to Patricia on the off chance that Deborah would attempt to call for help. The following day Patricia spent the day cleaning and even doing laundry for the three while Steven spent the day sexually assaulting Deborah in their room. At some point Patricia called a friend who informed her that the police were looking for them. Thirty hours after she had been abducted authorities would raid the motel and find Deborah. Patricia and Steven, apparently without incident, were arrested.
Both Steven and Patricia would plead guilty for their crimes. Considering they had crossed state lines to commit crimes, as well as brought Deborah back over state lines they were facing both state and federal charges. Patricia would receive twenty years for her role in the state crimes and a twenty-nine year sentence for her federal crimes. She is currently being held at the federal prison in Danbury Connecticut. Her release date is shown as being in November of 2024.
Steven would plead guilty on November 4, 1999. He asked the judge to give him a death sentence but the judge refused. He got four life sentences plus three sentences of sixty months and one sentence of 120 months. Prior to his plea of guilty he had attempted suicide in the Maine prison. He had slashed his throat with the razor blade of a disposable razor and then attempted to hang himself with one of his sheets. The knot in the sheet had broken and when he hit the floor he would break his ankle but beyond that he appeared to be fine. He was serving his sentence in a federal prison in Jesup Georgia when on May 29, 2012 he attempted suicide once more. This time he was successful.
The thing that was so interesting in this case was the control that Steven had over Patricia. While she obviously attempted to say she had no idea what she had planned to do that idea seemed hard to hold onto considering she went back to the home three different times. Of course she would attempt to say that after Steven had killed Donald Wood she knew what he was capable of and was too scared to defy him. And, to be fair maybe that is a true statement. However, it appears she obviously had ample time the following day to report things to the police and make an effort to turn herself in and save Deborah but failed to do so. It often amazes me how someone can be so mesmerized by someone that they have not known for very long and totally ignore all the people and things around them. Patricia apparently believed Steven that Deborah had lied about him in court and it was those lies that prevented him from having contact with his children. I am not one to say that people do not lie to the court, or that the court sometimes does not buy it, but the vast majority of the time, especially by the time this crime occurred, the court wants proof before making such a ruling in which prevent a parent contact with their children. In my opinion they obviously had that proof and yet it seems Patricia did not question that.
Would Steven have been able to pull off this crime without Patricia's help? That is a question that cannot be answered with certainty. And, in the end he killed himself, leaving Patricia alone to serve the sentence for them both for their actions.