Fulton fire chief suspended

Fire Chief Freddy Brown, who has been accused of hampering an investigation into the beating death of a Fulton man, was suspended without pay by the city’s Board of Aldermen today, a Fulton City Hall official confirmed.

Brown, 47, of 200 Brown Road, and his brother, Gerald Brown, 54, of 245 Brown Road, were arrested Tuesday and charged with first-degree hindering the prosecution.

If convicted, each man faces a maximum of five years imprisonment and a $5,000 fine.

Both Browns signed waivers of initial appearance and were released from jail on $5,000 bonds. Their case will come before the next Itawamba County grand jury.

According to Sheriff’s Department Lt. Chris Umfress, the Itawamba County criminal investigator, the Browns allegedly hid information pertaining to the June 10 beating of Johnny Neil Johnson.

Johnson, 47, of 1097 Lake Drive, died last Wednesday night while hospitalized at the North Mississippi Medical Center. Johnson was admitted to the hospital on June 10 after sustaining multiple injuries during a fight at a party located on 245 Brown Road.

Umfress said the brothers lied about the location of the attack, delaying the arrest of Chris Bird, who has been charged with the beating.

Bird, 30, of Topeka, Kan., is charged with manslaughter. Eyewitnesses claim to have seen Bird assaulting Johnson during a fight among several individuals.

Bird was arrested on June 12 and charged with aggravated assault. His charge was upgraded to manslaughter following the victim’s death. Although Bird’s bond was originally set at $500,000, it was increased Tuesday to $1 million in light of the more serious charge. He currently is being held in the Itawamba County Jail.

Itawamba County Times