Two different homicide cases involving five different defendants are getting more time to get in order after Superior Court Judge Anthony Harrison granted motions for continuance in hearings Thursday morning.
In the matter involving Akeem and Tiffany Brown, Assistant District Attorney Liberty Steward said blood found under a door handle needed further analysis. The analysis is necessary because more than one person’s blood could be there, meaning procedures to tease out whose DNA is whose.
The Browns are accused of conspiring to kill C.J. Proctor, 22, in March 2018.
Harrison raised concerns about the case’s age and the length of time taken in evidence analysis, but Stewart said a significant amount of evidence went to the state crime lab, and it’s taken time for staff to go through testing and figure out that there was blood underneath a vehicle door handle and that it needed to go through a specialized further analysis for DNA testing.
She also said Google has not responded to the D.A.’s office regarding geofencing data they’re seeking, and that Tiffany Brown’s phone has to go to the FBI lab in Quantico, Va., for analysis. She said there appears to be an issue with obtaining the data on the phone, and the FBI lab is the best-equipped place to obtain that data.
More time will be necessary after results come in on the blood and phone, as defense attorney Wrix McIlvaine said he would need to be able to seek out experts for consultation and possible testimony. He suggested the court set a discovery deadline for February, motions hearing sometime for the spring, and a trial date in the summer.
The other case involved the defendants Christopher Jermaine Griffin, Johnny Kenneth Mitchell and Geoffrey Tramane Wallace. They allegedly operated under the name “the Arco Boys.” They’re implicated in the 2012 shooting death of Gregory Boone and 22 other alleged instances of criminal behavior spanning more than a decade. The matter was set for trial next week but cannot go forward as it presently stands, which is why Harrison granted the continuance.
One problem is a lack of discovery, only found out by the D.A.’s office a week prior to trial because the agency’s investigator discovered the problem when attempting to work with Brunswick police to corral all the evidence. Also, it turns out there’s a “fatal flaw” in the indictment, so prosecutors have to get the case reindicted by a grand jury next week.
Stewart said hopes are to have the discovery problems worked out within a month’s time, leaving January or February for a motions hearing and trial to be scheduled in March or April.