Marine veteran Michael Brown, who deserted his post in late 2019 before allegedly shooting and killing his mother’s boyfriend, Rodney Brown, has a new trial target date of March 2022.
Former U.S. Marine Michael Alexander Brown, 23, who had been a corporal at 8th Engineer Support Battalion at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina, previously pleaded not guilty to charges of first-degree murder, larceny, burglary, and the use of a firearm in a felony offense.
Following his Oct. 24, 2019 disappearance from his home base at Camp Lejeune, N.C., prosecutors believe that Michael Brown responded to his mother’s boyfriend’s home in Franklin County, Virginia. Once there, police say that Brown confronted his mother’s boyfriend, Rodney Wilfred Brown, 54.
According to an article by the Marine Corps Times, Michael’s mother, Vanessa Hanson, testified “that the pair [M. Brown and R. Brown] were talking outside the front entrance while she watched television inside. She stated she heard a ‘loud, cracking’ sound and went outside to find the elder Brown on the ground and her son holding both a rifle and a pistol with a suppressor.”
Hanson testified that Michael entered the home following the shooting, motioned her to the kitchen, and put a gun to her head. She said Michael then told her to gather up all the phones in the house and put them in a bag. Michael then fled the home with the bag of phones.
Once gone, Brown evaded capture for more than two weeks; quickly finding himself placed on the FBI’s Most Wanted list and tracked by a group of FBI agents and US Marshalls; in addition to local and state police. On Nov. 27, 2019, Brown was located and taken into custody. He was discovered hiding in the attic at the home where the shooting took place nearly one month earlier.
“Not My Michael”
In pretrial hearings, M. Brown’s mother testified that her son had threatened to kill Rodney Brown if he “beat” her again. However, Michael Brown’s attorney stated Michael never said he would kill Rodney but that he would “whip Rodney’s ass” if Rodney ever beat up Hanson again.
Court evidence showed that Rodney Brown died from three .22-caliber gunshot wounds to the head and five to the torso. Rounds retrieved from the body were said to be linked to having been fired from the two guns that Brown possessed at the time.
According to a 2019 statement made by Brown’s attorney to the Marine Corps Times, Vanessa Hanson described her son as “not my Michael” when she saw him on Nov. 9, 2019. Hanson further testified in the pretrial hearing that her son spoke with a “pressured,” “deep,” and “urgent” voice.
The trial date for March 2022 serves as the third attempt to set a trial date. The first delay, which occurred in 2020, was courtesy of COVID restrictions. The second delay was caused because Brown’s psychological evaluation had yet to be completed due to COVID-related backlogs.
SOFREP will report future updates on this case as it progresses.