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Michael Brown trial to begin in December

The ex-Marine was last in court in June

FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. – We now know when the trial for the ex-Marine accused of killing his mother’s boyfriend will begin.

Michael Brown’s trial is scheduled to begin on Dec. 14. Prior to that, we will undergo a mental evaluation.

Brown’s attorney would like to have a jury trial, which cannot happen with COVID-19 restrictions in place.

“It just gets so complicated, the supreme court has ordered no jury trials so then you have a constitutional right to a speedy trial and Virginia Statutory right to a speedy trial but the Virginia Supreme Court has to motion it so it gets pretty complicated as to when the speedy trial in this case should be determined,” Brown’s Attorney Deborah Caldwell-Bono said.

Brown was last in court on June 24 for his preliminary hearing. Later, in early July, he was indicted on a first-degree murder charge and six other felony charges.

He was on the run for 18 days, leading authorities on a nationwide manhunt that spanned from Franklin County to Clarendon County, S.C. to Roanoke. He was eventually arrested at his mother’s Franklin County home, where he allegedly shot and killed her boyfriend, Rodney Brown, on Nov. 9, 2019.

New search warrants released surrounding Michael Brown arrest, Rodney Brown murder

Brown is charged with second-degree murder and using a firearm in the commission of a felony in connection with the death of Rodney Brown. Prior to that, Brown deserted his post at Camp Lejeune in mid-October, where he served as a combat engineer with the Marines.

According to one search warrant, investigators collected 70 items from the RV officials believe Michael Brown was using. It was found in a church parking lot in Roanoke on Nov. 14, 2019. According to his lawyer, Deborah Caldwell-Bono, Brown was in the RV the entire time as law enforcement agencies searched the vehicle before he escaped once the RV was in a tow lot.

About the Authors:

Annie Schroeder joined the 10 News team as a reporter in June 2020 and is no stranger to Southwest Virginia.

Jeff Williamson arrived at WSLS 10 in March 2016.