ROCKY MOUNT, Va. (WFXR) — The trial for Michael Brown, an ex-Marine accused of killing his mother’s boyfriend, Rodney Brown, has been delayed until next year due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The trial date was set for Dec. 14, but as of the pre-trial motion on Tuesday, Nov. 24, the case won’t see the courtroom until, at the earliest, late March 2021
“We’re doing the best we can under hard circumstances,” said Brown’s attorney, Deborah Caldwell-Bono.
Caldwell-Bono is asking for a trial by jury, which currently isn’t possible in Franklin County and other parts of Virginia because of COVID-19 restrictions.
It’s something that Caldwell-Bono believes would be the best route for the Brown trial, and pushing the trial date back allows more time to get that jury.
“You never know what a continuance will do,” the defense attorney said. “I’ve never heard of it hurting a defendant.”
In the meantime, Brown sits in the Western Virginia Regional Jail in Salem. It was confirmed by Caldwell-Bono after the trial that he, himself, has tested positive for COVID-19, among others in the facility.
“The jail is doing the best they can to contain it, and he’s hanging in there OK,” Caldwell-Bono said.
Brown has been accused of several crimes, including felony first-degree murder.
Caldwell-Bono says she will be using the added time to strengthen Brown’s defense.
“We are well on our way to being prepared, whenever we can have that jury,” she said.
Franklin County confirmed they’ve submitted an application to the Virginia Supreme Court to begin conducting jury trials again.
They are awaiting word back from Richmond.