Hearings delayed in murder case

TUPELO – New evidence in the Travis Brown capital murder case has caused attorneys on both sides to ask that motion hearings be delayed.
Prosecutors and defense attorneys in the case negotiated for plea deals Wednesday, but after co-defendants in the case gave “multiple new statements,” defense attorney Kelly Mims said attorneys on both sides agreed to the continuance.
Mims represents Jason Matthews, one of the six people charged in the killing of Brown.
“Some late-breaking discovery in the case with witness statements led to requests for additional time,” said Mims. “Multiple new statements from co-defendants will have to be reviewed. Stories are changing and we need to go back and see how they have changed to affect the clients.”
The new date of the hearing is April 14.
Brown, 27, was shot when he answered the door of a friend’s Tupelo home in May 2007.
Six co-defendants face charges ranging from capital murder and conspiracy to commit armed robbery to giving false information to investigators. Seven people were arrested, but only six were indicted by a Lee County grand jury.
Christopher Hughes, James Knowles and Jason Matthews, all in their 20s, were indicted on capital murder in the Brown case.
Their trial was set to begin Feb. 17, but several defense attorneys asked for a new date, which hasn’t been set yet by Circuit Judge Thomas Gardner III.
Capital murder, which is murder during the commission of another crime, can be punishable by life in prison without parole or the death penalty.
Mims said capital murder cases are extremely difficult because of the amount of medical and general evidence that has to be thoroughly examined.
“We want to get it right,” said Mims. “People’s lives are at stake and we’ve already had the loss of a life.”
Contact Danza Johnson at (662) 678-583 or danza.johnson@djournal.com.

Danza Johnson/Daily Journal

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