In Uncle Brice, Rob recounts a family secret he uncovered about the death of a great-uncle in a Southern town in the 1930s. The deceased was a white banker who was shot by an African American janitor during an altercation over past-due rent.
The janitor confessed to pulling the trigger and was charged with first-degree murder. The case was scheduled to be tried before an all-white, all-male jury in Texarkana, Arkansas in 1937. An experienced prosecutor was matched against a retired judge who took on the killer’s case without pay.
For Uncle Brice, an often-overlooked confluence of social, economic, and geopolitical influences led to fascinating developments and intriguing results. The overall impact of this true crime case causes the reader to reassess preconceived notions about the operation of the criminal justice system in the South during the Depression and challenges current narratives.
BIO:RobCouch‘s legal practice focuses on mortgage lenders and investors in both the forward mortgage and reverse mortgage industries; affordable housing; regulatory matters involving HUD, Ginnie Mae, FHA and other government-sponsored enterprise matters; and governmental affairs.
Prior to December 2020, Rob was the Federal Financial Monitor for Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands in the Trump Administration. Rob previously served as general counsel of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) from December 2006 to November 2008. In that role, he acted as the chief legal advisor to the secretary, deputy secretary and other principal staff, providing advice on federal laws, regulations and policies affecting HUD programs. Rob also has served as president of the Government National Mortgage Association (Ginnie Mae), as well as a commissioner on the Bipartisan Policy Center’s Housing Commission. In addition, he served as a member of President George W. Bush’s Task Force on the Status of Puerto Rico in 2008.