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Fresno Fire Chief Rob Brown formally charged in felony domestic violence case

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Fresno Fire Chief Rob Brown has officially been charged with felony domestic violence. The District Attorney's Office has now released the details of those charges.

Brown faces five felony domestic violence charges and one misdemeanor charge. Legal analysts say that carries a maximum prison time of seven years.

Fresno Fire Chief Rob Brown walked out of the county jail on June 13th. Since then he has faced a series of very public consequences including being placed on administrative leave from his department.

"Fire departments are considered part of law enforcement and their image is to protect the community. You really can't have the head of your department involved in significant criminal activity," said legal analyst, Michael Idiart.

Idiart says at the center of the case is the statement given to deputies by Brown's wife and children. Investigators say he hit her twice and knocked her to the ground. Deputies released part of the 911 call made by his wife that night. In the record, she said, "We came home and my husband lost his temper. And he's getting a little bit violent. Nobody is critically hurt."

Idiart said, "When you make a spontaneous statement right about the time when the incident occurred you tend not to be misleading the police, you tend to be truthful."

Only days after that call was made, Beth Brown and all four of her sons denied any violence at a press conference. In Tuesday's criminal complaint, the District Attorney's Office announced plans to call an expert witness to speak about why the family is now changing their story. Domestic Violence advocates say battered Women's' Syndrome is common in similar cases. "They convince themselves that the person is going to change and it is often difficult for them to leave the relationship because they are relying on the relationship, sometimes because of financial hardships," said Linda Richardson with Central California Legal Services.

Action News tried to reach Brown over the phone, he would not comment. He is expected in court on Thursday.

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COUNT 1

On or about June 12, 2013, in the above named judicial district, the crime of CORPORAL INJURY TO SPOUSE/COHABITANT/CHILD'S PARENT, in violation of PENAL CODE SECTION 273.5(a), a felony, was committed by James Robert Brown, who did willfully and unlawfully inflict corporal injury resulting in a traumatic condition upon Jane Doe, who was the spouse, former spouse, cohabitant, former cohabitant and the mother or the father of his or her child.

Notice: Pursuant to Evidence Code 1370 it is the People's intention to seek to admit all victim statements to law enforcement if the victim becomes unavailable to testify at trial. Furthermore, pursuant to Evidence Code 1107, it is the People's intention to call an expert witness to testify at trial regarding battered women's syndrome as defined in Evidence Code 1107(a)-(e).

''NOTICE: Conviction of this offense as a felony will require you to provide two specimens of blood, a saliva sample, right thumbprints, and a full palm print impression of each hand pursuant to Penal Code section 296.''

*****

COUNT 2

On or about June 12, 2013, in the above named judicial district, the crime of CRIMINAL THREATS, in violation of PENAL CODE SECTION 422, a felony, was committed by James Robert Brown, who did willfully and unlawfully threaten to commit a crime which would result in death and great bodily injury to John Doe, with the specific intent that the statement be taken as a threat. It is further alleged that the threatened crime, on its face and under the circumstances in which it was made, was so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate and specific as to convey to John Doe a gravity

of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution. It is further alleged that John Doe was reasonably in sustained fear of his/her safety and the safety of his/her immediate family.

*****

COUNT 3

On or about June 12, 2013, in the above named judicial district, the crime of CRIMINAL THREATS, in violation of PENAL CODE SECTION 422, a felony, was committed by James Robert Brown, who did willfully and unlawfully threaten to commit a crime which would result in death and great bodily injury to John Doe II, with the specific intent that the statement be taken as a threat. It is further alleged that the threatened crime, on its face and under the circumstances in which it was made, was so unequivocal, unconditional, immediate and specific as to convey to John Doe II a gravity of purpose and an immediate prospect of execution. It is further alleged that John Doe II was reasonably in sustained fear of his/her safety and the safety of his/her immediate family.

*****

COUNT 4

On or about June 12, 2013, in the above named judicial district, the crime of ASSAULT BY MEANS LIKELY TO PRODUCE GREAT BODILY INJURY, in violation of PENAL CODE SECTION 245(a)(4), a felony, was committed by James Robert Brown, who did unlawfully commit an assault on John Doe by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury.

''NOTICE: Conviction of this offense as a felony will require you to provide two specimens of blood, a saliva sample, right thumbprints, and a full palm print impression of each hand pursuant to Penal Code section 296.''

*****

COUNT 5

On or about June 12, 2013, in the above named judicial district, the crime of DISSUADING A WITNESS BY FORCE OR THREAT, in violation of PENAL CODE SECTION 136.1(c)(1), a felony, was committed by James Robert Brown, who did knowingly and maliciously do an act described in subdivisions (a) or (b) and such act was accompanied by force or an express or implied threat of force or violence upon John Doe or a third person or the property of a victim, witness or third person.

*****

COUNT 6

On or about June 12, 2013, in the above named judicial district, the crime of RESIST, OBSTRUCT, DELAY OF PEACE OFFICER OR EMT, in violation of PENAL CODE SECTION 148(a)(1), a misdemeanor, was committed by James Robert Brown, who did willfully and unlawfully resist, delay and obstruct a peace officer who was then and there attempting to and discharging the duty of his/her office and employment.

*****

All of which is contrary to the form, force, and effect of the Statute in such case made and provided, and against the peace and dignity of the people of the State of California.

Pursuant to Penal Code Sections 1054.5(b), the People are hereby informally requesting that defense counsel provide discovery to the People as required by Penal Code Section 1054.3.

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