A family member reportedly found the victims and called the landlord. The landlord then checked the apartment and noticed blood under the door, WBRC-TV reports.
Investigators identified Joseph Brown, an acquaintance of the victims, as a suspect.
A couple days before the victims’ bodies were found, on Jan. 21, 2018, Brown’s girlfriend reportedly told police Brown assaulted her because he thought she cheated on him. According to WBMA, the woman told investigators she lied and told her boyfriend that Whisenant raped her because she thought Brown was going to hurt or kill her.
Brown allegedly took his girlfriend to Walker and Whisenant’s apartment to talk to Whisenant about the rape allegation, but when they arrived, the woman fled to call for help.
A few days later, a nearly naked Brown reportedly went to a drug treatment facility while under the influence of drugs, and he was arrested for public intoxication.
Investigators found Brown’s vehicle behind the victims’ apartment while he was in custody, WBMA reports. He confirmed to investigators he went to the apartment to confront Whisenant. On Jan. 23, 2018, he returned to the apartment with a knife and a tire thumper and killed the two men.
Brown said he killed the dogs as well because he was afraid they would bark and cause a scene. Afterward, he tried to clean up the apartment and moved the bodies to a bedroom before covering them with clothing and other items.
Brown was arrested and charged with capital murder, aggravated cruelty to animals, and first-degree burglary. He remains held in the Etowah County Jail, records show.
According to WBMA, Brown pleaded guilty to the charges and was recently sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole, along with 99 years each for the animal cruelty charges, and life in prison for first-degree burglary.