Quintez Brown facing life in prison on federal charges
“I think the bottom line is the case just got a lot more complex,” UofL law professor, Sam Marcosson said.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - Quintez Brown, charged with attempting to kill Louisville Mayoral Candidate Craig Greenberg back in February, faces life in prison if convicted.
Brown appeared in person in federal court Friday afternoon, wearing a green jail jumpsuit and leg shackles.
He only spoke four words, answering “yes sir” twice to the judge.
His lawyers want this case tossed.
They question the timing of the indictment and the decision to bring federal charges at all. They have filed a motion to have the case dismissed entirely saying the federal government didn’t have the proper authorization.
“The federal government acting through its agents came in to his home, snatched him up in his pajamas, in violation of my view of the district court,” defense attorney Patrick Renn said.
He said Brown should not be in jail and the federal government should not have this case at all, claiming violations of the Fifth, Sixth, Eighth and Tenth Amendments, which are Brown’s constitutionally protected rights.
Renn called Brown being put back in jail “cruel and unusual punishment” in his motion to have the federal charges dismissed and claimed the case is politically motivated.
“He gets prosecuted in state court and now in federal court, and Breonna Taylor, a Black woman is killed by white officers with LMPD, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office in this district took a pass,” Renn said.
In addition, Renn filed a motion arguing federal agents never had the proper paperwork, officially called a writ of habeas corpus and prosequendum, to arrest Brown. He argued the feds instead relied on the prosecution, claiming they had permission from a state official.
However, Sam Marcosson with UofL’s School of Brandeis Law told WAVE News he doesn’t believe the defense’s arguments are valid enough for the judge to drop the federal charges. Having both state and federal cases happening simultaneously does make the situation more complicated.
He said, typically, the federal government either waits for state prosecutors to hash out their case before bringing federal charges on a suspect or the state drops its charges so the federal government can take over.
“It is much more unusual to intervene and bring a federal indictment while state charges are pending,” Marcosson said.
Marcosson believes the federal government had the authority to bring the charges and they will likely be upheld, but he said he does see strong policy questions the U.S. Attorney could have to answer.
“If the goal here, or if the underlying impetus for the action by the U.S. Attorney and the Department of Justice here was because they were unhappy that Mr. Brown had been granted bail in the state court and they wanted him in custody by any means necessary, that would certainly be a troubling use of the federal power,” Marcosson said. “But I question whether it would be an unconstitutional use of the federal prosecutorial authority.”
Marcosson added moving forward could get complicated, because both the defense attorneys and the state and federal governments will have to determine which case goes to trial first, assuming there is no plea bargain and how discovery will unfold.
“I think the bottom line is the case just got a lot more complex,” Marcosson said.
Court filings show the justice department’s number two official authorized the federal case the same day Brown was indicted by a Jefferson County grand jury.
“He didn’t look well,” Chanelle Helm said.
Helm’s group posted Brown’s $100,000 bond to get him mental health treatment.
“Anybody who commits a crime knows that they’ve made a grave mistake, especially one that almost takes somebody’s life, and so he’s sitting with that,” Helm said.
Renn said Brown is getting his medication and can do virtual psychiatric appointments while in the Grayson County Jail.
“But certainly not the kind of treatment he needs as he goes forward in this case,” Renn said.
Prosecutors revealed the grand jury interviewed people with knowledge of Brown’s mental health.
The defense asked them to turn over all the evidence that would clear Brown in this case.
The judge ordered that to be done by Wednesday in time for a hearing next Friday on whether Brown will remain locked up.
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