Brown case to go to trial in November

April 16, 2013

A trial date has been set in the case against former Sedalia resident Jamauhle Brown, who is accused of murder.

During a court appearance Monday Circuit Court Judge Robert Koffman noted Brown’s jury trial date had been continued three times before at the request of Brown’s public defender, Kathy Brown. In January Kathy Brown asked Koffman for a continuance, claiming she needed more time for depositions and to review evidence.

“Since January have you done any depositions?” Koffman asked Monday.

“No,” she said.

“Why not?” Koffman countered. “This has been on my trial docket twice before. He’s been sitting in jail for two years. The public and this man demand justice, I don’t understand why this hasn’t been done. I’m starting to have an ethical problem with this.”

Kathy Brown said she was busy with several other jury trial cases in other counties. Koffman told her “no case is more important than this one” and suggested she could have handed off Brown’s case to another public defender.

Brown, 32, is charged with first-degree murder, armed criminal action, first-degree burglary, tampering with physical evidence, unlawful possession of a firearm and committing a felony in furtherance of street gang activity after the 2010 death of Sedalia resident Michael E. Smith. He was arrested by the Sedalia Police Department in April 2011, nearly a year after Smith was found dead in his home of multiple gunshot wounds. According to a 2011 Democrat story, Brown was associated with the Five-Block gang and Smith may have been targeted because he had associated with someone who was a member of another known gang. Smith was not believed to be an active gang member.

Pettis County Prosecuting Attorney Jeff Mittelhauser said he had given Kathy Brown numerous possible dates for depositions, which she hadn’t taken advantage of. Koffman ruled the depositions should be finished by Aug. 1 and after Kathy Brown said she couldn’t make the October jury trial date he first proposed, Koffman ruled the trial be set for Nov.19 through 27.

“This is it,” Koffman said. “Short of a major catastrophe like the World Trade Center falling down in Sedalia, the trial will happen at that date and we’ll let the pieces fall where they lie.”

A pre-trial motion hearing was set for Nov. 6.