VOLUSIA COUNTY, FL – Yesterday, deputies assisted New Smyrna Beach police on a report of a stabbing following a parking argument at Walmart on S.R. 44. According to authorities, the incident began with a dispute in the parking lot, and continued with an argument in the entrance of the store. The victim told police the suspect pulled out a pocket knife and threatened to kill him. The victim’s wife said the suspect swung the knife at her husband’s neck, and he blocked the knife with his hand, resulting in a cut.
The victims were able to provide a video recording of the suspect’s motorcycle and tag, and a New Smyrna Beach Police officer and Volusia Sheriff’s sergeant responded to the address of the motorcycle’s registered owner, Michael J. Brown, down a long dirt driveway at 281 S. Samsula Drive in New Smyrna Beach.
According to authorities, Brown approached on his motorcycle, stopped, complied and was taken into custody without incident. He was charged with aggravated battery and aggravated assault with a deadly weapon. He posted $7,500 bond and was released from the Volusia County Branch Jail late Tuesday.
Brown was previously sentenced to life in prison for his role in the 1973 murder of Vivan Oyler in Edgewater. However, Brown became eligible for parole after 25 years of his life sentence and was released from Florida State Prison in 2010.
According to detectives, Mrs. Oyler was 77 years old when she was killed in a murder for hire over a property dispute. She was buried in the woods, possibly while she was still alive. Brown was 18 at the time. He and four others, including the neighbor who hired them for the murder, were sentenced to life in prison.
Mrs. Oyler was a retired schoolteacher and founder of the Southeast Volusia Humane Society in 1957.