LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) — A man accused of shooting at a Louisville mayoral candidate will remain in custody while a federal judge considers his case after a detention hearing Thursday.
Western District of Kentucky Judge Benjamin Beaton said he will issue a written ruling sometime next week. A federal magistrate judge had granted Quintez Brown’s release to home incarceration, but prosecutors appealed.
At a detainment hearing on April 15, prosecutors alleged that Brown wanted to kill candidate Craig Greenberg to prevent him from winning the upcoming mayoral election, citing Brown’s internet search history, text messages and online posts around the time of the February shooting.
They also accused Brown of visiting the politician’s home the day before the attack but leaving after the gun he brought with him jammed. Assistant U.S. Attorney Amanda Gregory insisted that if released, Brown posed a risk of fleeing and could be a danger to the community.
Brown’s attorneys pointed to the fact that Brown had been on home incarceration for weeks without any issues before his federal arrest. They also asked the judge to consider the impact of Brown’s mental health treatment since the incident.
Brown faces federal charges of “interfering with a federally protected right, and using and discharging a firearm in relation to a crime of violence by shooting at and attempting to kill a candidate for elective office.”
Greenberg, a Democrat, said he was at his campaign headquarters Feb. 14 with four colleagues when a man appeared in the doorway and began firing multiple rounds. He was not hit by the gunfire but said a bullet grazed his sweater. One staffer managed to shut the door, which they barricaded with tables and desks, and the shooter fled.
If convicted of all federal charges, Brown faces a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and maximum of life in prison in addition to any sentence he receives on state charges of attempted murder and wanton endangerment.
He has pleaded not guilty in state and federal court.
Patrick Renn, one of Brown’s lawyers, said Thursday that the judge “seemed very thoughtful, very deliberate with the way that he was going about deciding” whether or not Brown would return to home incarceration.
“The fact that he is going to take time is actually, I think, in our favor because when you look at all the evidence in this case, under the statute that he’s required to follow, that he, too, is going to make a ruling that Mr. Brown should be released,” he added.
Brown was placed on home incarceration just days after the shooting. He was fitted with a GPS ankle monitor after a group called the Louisville Community Bail Fund paid the $100,000 cash bond.
His release to home incarceration drew bipartisan criticism, including from Greenberg, who said it was “nearly impossible to believe that someone can attempt murder on Monday and walk out of jail on Wednesday.”
Before the incident, 22-year-old Brown was known to the community as a social justice activist who was running as an independent for Louisville’s metro council.
Hudspeth Blackburn is a corps member for The Associated Press/Report for America Statehouse News Initiative. Report for America is a nonprofit national service program that places journalists in local newsrooms to report on undercovered issues.
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