Sentencing delayed for man who shot father
The sentencing of a Grass Valley man who shot his father to death was postponed Tuesday so a judge familiar with the case can determine whether a psychiatric evaluation of the defendant should remain secret.
Public Defender Don Loun said in court Tuesday he would like to keep a psychiatric evaluation of defendant Franklin Brown V confidential, meaning only a judge and the prosecutor may view it.
Visiting Judge Ersel Edwards resisted Loun’s request for confidentiality Tuesday, saying it was his opinion the diagnostic process “should be done out in the open.”
“This is the people’s court,” Edwards said.
The report is in a closed envelope labeled confidential, which Loun said he would place in the file at Nevada County Superior Court.
The information in the report could “change the nature of the plea itself,” Loun said in court Tuesday.
Confidentiality excludes the county probation department, which prepares a report for a judge regarding the terms and conditions of a defendant’s probation.
Brown pleaded no contest to involuntary manslaughter in April as part of a conditional plea agreement, accepted by Superior Court Judge Julie McManus.
As part of the conditional plea agreement, Brown would not go to state prison after sentencing, but instead would serve up to 12 months in county jail, several years of probation and attend psychiatric counseling.
As he was being arrested for shooting his father Franklin Brown IV, Brown V told police he thought his father was going to kill him. He claimed he killed his father in self-defense.
The elder Brown told a 911 dispatcher before he died that he and his son had been arguing before the younger Brown shot him in the chest.
The results of toxicity screenings on both men determined marijuana was in both of their systems, county Sheriff’s Capt. Ron Smith said.
Edwards postponed Brown V’s sentencing until 1:30 p.m. June 5, when McManus will be available to adjudicate the case.
To contact Staff Writer Robyn Moormeister, e-mail robynm@theunion .com or call 477-4236.
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