Crime Ex-Jacksonville City Council member Reggie Brown asks to reverse fraud verdicts
GUILTY: Jury finds Katrina Brown guilty of conspiracy, fraud
A jury found former Jacksonville City Council members Katrina Brown and Reginald Brown guilty in their federal corruption trial. The 12-member jury reached its verdict during the second day of deliberations. Katrina Brown was found guilty on all 37 counts against her. Reginald Brown, no relation, was found guilty on 33 of the 34 counts against him. The jury ruled him not guilty in aiding and abetting mail fraud. Katrina Brown faced 37 counts in the original indictment and her council colleague Reginald Brown faced 34.The jury verdict is still being read into the record. Stay with First Coast News for more on this developing story.
Former Jacksonville City Council member Reggie Brown is asking a federal judge to find him innocent of the conspiracy and fraud crimes that a jury said last week he committed.
A motion that Brown's attorney filed Thursday argues that U.S. District Judge Marcia Morales Howard should have made that ruling during thebecause prosecutors simply hadn't proved their case.
12 men arrested in statutory rape case involving an Alabama university
"The girls were making contact through social media connections and then coming onto our campus or adjacent to our campus to meet these individuals," the university attorney said.Nine men between the ages of 18 and 22 were first arrested over two days in mid-September, according to the Gadsden Times. The two latest arrests occurred Monday and brought the total number of men charged to 12.
"There was not sufficient evidence for the jury to find beyond a reasonable doubt that Mr. Brown ... conspired with others to commit mail and wire fraud," attorney Thomas Bell wrote, noting he requested acquittal during Reggie Brown's trial with fellow former council member Katrina Brown.
"The evidence at trial established that Katrina Brown concocted a scheme to defraud her lenders and the city of Jacksonville," Bell added, "Only by stacking inferences from the mailing and cashing of checks could the jury conclude that the jury knew of and willfully joined the scheme."
The former council members were charged with collecting about a quarter-million dollars through phony invoices submitted to a lender handling a federally backed $2.65 million loan for Katrina Brown's family to build a barbecue sauce factory on Commonwealth Avenue.
Woman shot dead in Jacksonville apartment
A woman was shot and killed Monday night inside an apartment in Arlington, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said. Officers were called out about 8 p.m. to the complex in the 3200 block of Justina Road in reference to shots fired to find the woman, Sgt. Doug Molina said. Suffering from multiple gunshot wounds, she was taken to Memorial Hospital, where she was declared dead, Molina said.
Those invoices were part of a package of documentation the lender sent City Hall to get it to release a $210,000 grant for the factory project.
The jury found Reggie Brown innocent of a mail fraud charge involving the city grant butof a total of 33 charges involving fraud and conspiracy.
Brown was also convicted of not filing a 2014 income tax return, and Bell's motion doesn't request any change on that count.
Katrina Brown was convicted of all 37 charges against her.
Bell also asked the judge to order a new trial if she wouldn't acquit his client, saying that was another option she had if the weight of evidence didn't support a conviction.
Howard didn't immediately act on the motion. Reggie Brown and Katrina Brown are scheduled to be sentenced in January.
Steve Patterson: (904) 359-4263
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Family identifies Thursday's shooting victim on Jacksonville's Pearl Street .
Family has identified the Jacksonville man killed Thursday in a fight on Pearl Street that resulted in two people shot and three stabbed. Stephen Michael Burt Jr., 24, was one of the ones shot. His mother posted on Facebook that his father was killed a month before he was born and his little brother died at 14. Police haven't released any new information in what happened Thursday. They previously said they were initially alerted to the scene by their ShotSpotter system about 1:30 p.m. and then started getting calls. They found Burt inside a home and also were directed to separate crime scenes on 23rd and Fifth streets where the violence continued.