Moore Gets Life Sentence for Killing Marvin Brown


ST. CLAIRSVILLE – The man who admitted to murdering former Powhatan Point mayor and businessman Marvin Brown learned his sentence Monday.

Common Pleas Judge John Vavra imposed a sentence of life in prison for Steven Moore, for aggravated murder. Moore will not have an opportunity for parole for 30 years. He will first serve three years for a gun specification, for a total of 33 years before having any opportunity for parole.

Moore was also sentenced to 11 years for aggravated burglary, to be served concurrently with his first count.

Marvin Brown was killed during a home invasion on Nov. 18, 2013. Moore, 39, of 5495 Cove Road, Powhatan Point was arrested on unrelated drug trafficking charges in 2018. During an interview in March when he was in custody, Moore reportedly confessed to the murder.

During the course of the interview, Moore initially said he was in Brown’s home with another individual, who has not been charged, but only in a lookout capacity. He eventually confessed to firing the fatal shot.

He pleaded guilty in February, shortly after Vavra denied a motion that Moore’s confession be suppressed. According to the court, Moore apologized prior to his sentencing.

Vavra said there were many serious matters to take into account.

“He’s got a prior criminal record including felonies, but this case is unlike some other aggravated murder cases where they’ve been … crimes of passion,” Vavra said. “This was simply a cold-blooded — according to Mr. Moore’s own statement — a hit arranged by others, and he was hired to actually perform the shooting.”

Vavra also made note of Moore’s apparent lack of honesty.

“He blamed it on drugs,” Vavra said. “But in his statement he had indicated previously, he uses but he doesn’t really have a problem, well today he said he had a problem. … He’s given so many different stories about what has happened that has impeded the state’s efforts to go after the unindicted alleged co-conspirators. He’s told so many stories that nobody knows what to believe for sure.

“The bottom-line is this was a cold-blooded murder-for-hire.”

Vavra added it was very unlikely Moore’s first parole attempt would be granted, and he would have no further attempts at parole for another five years.

“By that (time) he’ll be about 78 years old,” Vavra said.

Two of Marvin Brown’s children, Christopher Brown and Thomas Brown, spoke about the impact of the crime on their family.

According to the court, Christopher Brown said his father did not deserve to be killed and asked if $12,000 was worth it. Thomas Brown said of all the people allegedly involved, Moore was the only one going to prison for life, due to Moore’s involvement and failure to tell the truth.

“Steven Moore’s sentence by Judge Vavra essentially ensures that he will never be released from prison,” Belmont County Prosecutor Dan Fry said.

Fry commended the work of Chief Detective Ryan Allar of the Belmont County Sheriff’s Department, as well as Chief Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Flanagan.

“My office is very mindful and sympathetic to the victim’s family in this case,” Fry said. “Moore committed the ultimate crime and deserved the sentence that was handed down today. … This was probably the most extensive investigation in the history of Belmont County and the victim and his family absolutely deserved that. We have worked so hard to get to this point and have never stopped seeking justice in this matter.”

Suspicion for arranging the killing fell on Meredith Broome, Marvin Brown’s stepdaughter. She has not been charged with this offense.

In October, Broome was sentenced for obstruction of justice after a jury found her guilty of assisting her mother, the late Deborah Doty Brown, Marvin Brown’s widow, in attempting to prevent him from learning about Deborah Doty Brown’s thefts from his business. Deborah Doty Brown served a sentence for theft. In October, Meredith Broome was given six months in jail with credit for 71 days served, and six months at the Eastern Ohio Correction Center, followed by one year of community control sanctions.


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