A preliminary hearing for Franklin County homicide suspect Michael Alexander Brown — his first court appearance since he was captured as a fugitive in November — had been scheduled to go forward March 19, but that has now been postponed until summer.
That state of temporary legal limbo is hardly unique to Brown.
On March 16, as a precaution against the spread of COVID-19, the Virginia Supreme Court told judges to suspend all nonessential, nonemergency court proceedings for at least 21 days, a move that will delay a majority of cases — everything from speeding tickets to major felonies — and will prompt some prosecutors to forgive smaller offenses.
Brown’s hearing would likely have seen the release of new information about the case against the 22-year-old Marine corporal accused last fall of fatally shooting 54-year-old Rodney Brown, his mother’s longtime boyfriend. Little is known of Michael Brown’s whereabouts and activities between the day of the shooting and his arrest Nov. 27, following an 18-day search.
Brown’s new hearing is set for June 24, according to his lawyer, Deborah Caldwell-Bono.