Accused shooter re-arrested
Accused killer Franklin Henderson Brown V of Cedar Ridge was released from jail Tuesday night due to a miscommunication between correctional staff and prosecutors, officials said, then re-arrested Wednesday afternoon in Placer County.
Brown did not pose a flight risk and investigators knew where he was the entire time he was free, Nevada County District Attorney Cliff Newell said.
“This (incident) will certainly make us pay attention to any chinks in our armor,” Newell said.
Brown is accused of shooting and killing his father, Franklin Henderson Brown IV, during an argument Sunday afternoon. He was arrested shortly after the shooting at about 3 p.m. that day.
Newell said Brown was released because of a miscommunication between the Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s office. Sheriff Keith Royal agreed.
“This was a difference of opinion on the interpretation of the law,” Royal said.
Assistant District Attorney Anna Ferguson filed charges of voluntary manslaughter and involuntary manslaughter Tuesday afternoon against Brown, Newell said. Brown’s arraignment was scheduled for Wednesday morning.
However, jail staff released Brown at about 8 p.m. Tuesday after he was held without bail since his arrest, said Capt. Lee Osborne, in charge of Wayne Brown Correctional Facility.
Brown is re-scheduled for arraignment on two manslaughter charges at 8:30 a.m. today in Nevada County Superior Court.
The incident arose, Royal said, because officers and prosecutors had different interpretations of the California Penal Code.
State law mandates a person who is arrested is entitled to see a judge within 48 hours of his or her arrest, or the prisoner must be released, Osborne said.
“There’s a question as to when the 48 hours starts,” Royal said.
Correctional officers are alerted by a computerized record of inmates who have not been arraigned before that 48-hour threshold, Royal said, and they were alerted Tuesday night of Brown’s right to be released.
“Our hands are tied,” Osborne said. “If we held him, we’re in violation of his civil rights.”
There are exceptions to the rule, Royal said; Sundays and holidays are not counted as part of the 48 hours.
Brown was released Tuesday night because two full courthouse working days had passed, he said.
“Historically we’ve treated every case the way we treated this case,” Royal said, adding that the sheriff’s standards are based on legal advice.
For the sake of public safety, Royal said, the Sheriff’s Office and the District Attorney’s office need to agree on their interpretation of the 48-hour rule.
“To avoid this in the future, we’ll meet this week, look into it in detail and come to an agreement,” Royal said.
Three investigators kept watch Wednesday on Brown at his girlfriend’s house in Granite Bay until they could arrest him. An arrest warrant signed by a Nevada County judge Wednesday morning first had to be processed through the statewide law enforcement telecommunication system so he could be legally arrested in Placer County.
The warrant processing took several hours, according to Royal. He said if Brown had remained inside county limits, officers could have made an arrest as soon as a judge signed the warrant.
Brown was charged with two different manslaughter charges to cover all bases, Newell said. Based on the sheriff’s investigation which is ongoing, the killing of Brown’s father could be determined as voluntary or involuntary.
Brown was not charged with murder, Newell said, because there is no proof he intended to kill his father.
Brown’s father, Franklin Henderson Brown IV, 53, called 911 Sunday afternoon to report his son shot him during a fight. The elder Brown died shortly after he made the call.
The younger Brown told police at the scene he shot his father in self-defense.
To contact Staff Writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail robynm@ theunion.com or call 477-4236.
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