An Illinois judge ordered former NFL player Sergio Brown to be held without bond Wednesday on charges related to killing his mother and hiding her body, saying he’s a flight risk and poses a threat to the community.
Brown, 35, was arrested in San Diego on October 10 while re-entering the US from Mexico and extradited to Maywood, a suburb of Chicago, where he was charged with first-degree murder and concealing a dead body in the death of his mother, Myrtle Brown, according to the Cook County State’s Attorney’s Office.
Circuit Court Judge Teresa Gonzalez said there were several factors that led to her decision to remand Brown without bail, including that he poses a “real and present threat” to the community.
During a brief court appearance on Wednesday, Brown was in restraints and wearing red shorts with a white sweatshirt. He spoke only to answer one question from Gonzalez.
The Cook County Medical Examiner’s Office determined Brown’s mother died from injuries related to an assault, and the manner of death was ruled a homicide, according to spokesperson Natalia Derevyanny.
Court documents submitted by the Cook County State Attorney’s Office this week provided new details on Myrtle’s death, alleging she was killed by blunt force trauma, wrapped in a sheet and left outside her home.
Prosecutors also told the court Wednesday Brown was seen on surveillance video burning items in a firepit near the home.
The documents were included in Brown’s bond proffer, a procedure whereby a defendant offers prosecutors information about a crime, sometimes as part of a plea deal.
Brown’s 73-year-old mother was last seen alive around 6 p.m. on September 14 at the home she and Brown shared outside Chicago, police said. Her other son, who is not named in the court documents, last spoke to her around 3 p.m. that day and began to worry after she stopped answering his text messages, court documents show.
Myrtle Brown’s unnamed son checked on the home early in the morning on September 16 but found the house empty, without any sign of forced entry, the filing said. Later that day, police went to search the home after relatives reported Myrtle and Brown missing when they had not been able to find or contact the pair, police said.
As neighbors began searching the surrounding area for Brown and his mother, a former neighbor found her body less than 50 yards from the back door of the home, wrapped in a sheet, according to the proffer.
During their search of the home, officers found Ajax cleaner in the bathtub drain, indicating it had recently been cleaned, the proffer said. Myrtle Brown’s iPad, credit cards and phone were missing, it said.
Surveillance cameras in the area captured Brown burning items in a fire pit on the evening of September 14, and police later found burnt fabric in that same fire pit, the proffer says. Cellular data also showed Sergio and Myrtle’s cell phones pinging together on September 14 and 15, court documents say.
Authorities detained Brown in Mexico
The former NFL player booked a one-way ticket to Cancun, Mexico, at around 3 a.m. on September 15 and flew out later that morning, prosecutors say. Court records suggest he was attempting to flee to Medellin, Colombia, from Mexico after renting an Airbnb on a credit card on September 21, but he was detained by authorities in Mexico City on October 7 and then deported to San Diego before he could travel to the country.
Upon Brown’s arrival in San Diego, US Customs and Border Protection agents recovered Myrtle Brown’s iPad, cell phone and numerous credit and bank cards from a bag he had been carrying, the proffer said.
Brown was transferred from San Diego to Maywood on Tuesday. He said he went to Mexico and carried his mother’s belongings with him, according to prosecutors.
A DNA analysis from underneath the Myrtle Brown’s fingernails and a toothbrush found in Sergio Brown’s bedroom matched DNA samples from two men, court documents show. The analysis determined DNA from the toothbrush was a “possible donor” of the “major male” DNA profile from the sample found underneath the victim’s fingernails, according to the documents.
CNN has reached out to the public defend er representing Brown for comment.
Sergio Brown played defensive back for Notre Dame before signing with the New England Patriots as an undrafted free agent in 2010. He played seven seasons in the NFL as a member of the Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills.
His next court hearing is scheduled for the morning of November 23.
Myrtle Brown’s family said the killing of their beloved matriarch has “forever altered the course of our lives.”
“Myrtle was a beautiful, loving, and inspirational soul that made everyone around her feel like they mattered. With her contagious smile and personality, our loss of Myrtle has left an indescribable void not only in our lives, but in our communities,” the family said in its statement.
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