Tentative trial dates set for suspect in killing of mother’s boyfriend

Published: Sep. 20, 2021 at 10:32 AM EDT
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FRANKLIN COUNTY, Va. (WDBJ) - The trial for a former Marine accused of killing his mother’s boyfriend in Franklin County could go to trial in early 2022.

At a hearing for Michael Brown September 20, 2021, tentative trial dates were set for the week of February 28 or March 14, 2022.

Trial had been scheduled for September 2021, but the prosecution is still looking for an appropriate person to do a mental health evaluation on Brown, who said he plans to prove at his trial he was not sane at the time of the killing in 2019.

Franklin County Commonwealth’s Attorney AJ Dudley said at the hearing he has reached out to a number of experts and has used the Supreme Court list of experts for the commonwealth’s mental evaluation of Brown. Dudley said he does not have one confirmed, but believes he will have one in the next few days.

The judge recommended getting an expert from UVA or VCU, as state employees must make themselves available for mental evaluation appointments. For non-state employees, there is a payment cap of $750 for services provided, which Dudley said is under minimum wage for the time it will take.

Defense attorney Deborah Caldwell-Bono’s expert works for UVA, so Dudley cannot take someone from there, as that would make it a conflict of interest.

Michael Brown is accused of killing Rodney Brown in Hardy and leading investigators on a two-and-a-half-week manhunt before he was arrested.

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