Testing of decades old evidence leads to arrest of two brothers in rape cases

Two brothers who are suspected in multiple rape cases from the 1980s were recently linked to those cases thanks to new testing of 35-year-old evidence.

On March 27, DeKalb County District Attorney Sherry Boston held a press conference to announce that a DeKalb County grand jury indicted 59-year-old Jeffrey Briney on four counts of rape, seven counts of kidnapping, one count of aggravated sodomy, two counts of armed robbery, five counts of criminal attempt to commit armed robbery, seven counts of aggravated assault, three counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony, and one count of possession of a firearm by a first offender probationer in connection to two separate home invasion rape cases in DeKalb County.

The grand jury also indicted Jeffrey’s 62-year-old brother David Briney on two counts of rape, five counts of kidnapping, five counts of criminal attempt to commit armed robbery, five counts of aggravated assault, and two counts of possession of a firearm during the commission of a felony.

The arrests are in connection to multiple crimes that occurred in 1986, stated investigators.

According to officials, on March 28, 1986, at around 9:45 p.m., four men pushed their way into an apartment on Briarwood Road in what is now the city of Brookhaven. Investigators said suspects held five college students at gunpoint and raped two young women before ransacking the apartment.

Then, on Oct. 27, 1986, two men with a handgun forced their way into an apartment in the 3000 block of Buford Highway. The assailants raped both women, tied them up and left with valuables, stated investigators.

The cases went cold until 2023 when the officials with the Georgia Bureau of Investigation sent the rape kits to a private lab for testing.

Investigators said that in June 2023, DNA collected from one of the Briarwood rape victims came back with a Combined DNA Index System (CODIS) match to Jeffrey Briney. The DNA also matched that of one of the attackers in the Buford Highway case. The two crime scenes are less than a mile apart.

In August 2023, DNA collected from the other Briarwood rape victim returned a CODIS match to David Briney. That DNA also tied David Briney to seven other cases, including one in Cobb County and six in Fulton County, said investigators.

Officials said a task force started in 2018 and given the job of working collaboratively to solve cold case sexual assault crimes played a big part in identifying the two suspects.

“David and Jeffrey Briney were identified through the investigative work of the Georgia Sexual Assault Kit Initiative (GASAKI) Task Force,” said officials. “GASAKI was established in 2018 in partnership with the Georgia Criminal Justice Coordinating Council (CJCC) as part of a multi-year, multi-million-dollar federal grant under the National Sexual Assault Kit Initiative. The team consists of prosecutors, investigators, and victim advocates from the DeKalb County District Attorney’s Office, the Cobb County District Attorney’s Office, the Prosecuting Attorneys Council (PAC), and CJCC (with resources from the Morgan County Sheriff’s Department and Rape Response) working collaboratively to solve cold case sexual assault crimes. Additionally, the GASAKI Task Force relies on the ongoing work and commitment of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation Crime Lab to process previously untested Sexual Assault Kits.”

Officials said that thanks to a federal grant, the GBI was able to send about 2,500 of those kits to private labs for processing in 2023 with 74 kits coming from DeKalb County cases.

Officials with the district’s attorney office said there were others involved in some of the crimes committed by the Briney brothers who have not yet been identified.

“Investigators with the Office of the DeKalb County District Attorney have identified nearly a dozen other cases that fit the same pattern as the crimes committed by the Brineys,” said officials. “Anyone who believes they have information about the Brineys or their unknown accomplices are asked to call the cold case tip line at 404-371-2444.”

For more information, visit dekalbda.org.

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