Roger Brown received a sentence of 12 months probation in a case where he was found guilty of attempted possession of a weapon by a prohibited person and possession of a controlled substance.
The case arose from an incident in June 2018, according to the Affidavit for Custody. An officer with the Alliance Police Department conducted a traffic stop on a 1999 Grand Marquis on East Third Street after the officer noticed the vehicle had no license plates or in-transits.
The officer spoke with the driver, who was identified as Roger Brown, 58, of Alliance, and discovered he was a convicted felon. Brown consented to a search of the vehicle, and during the search, the officer located a homemade knife with a blade over four inches in length concealed under the arm rests in the front seat.
Brown allegedly told the officer he had the knife “because, ‘you just never know.’” Brown was taken into custody. During a subsequent search, the officer found a jewelers bag hidden in the cellophane of a pack of cigarettes in Brown’s pocket. The bag contained a white, crystal-like substance that field tested positive as methamphetamine.
Brown was charged with possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person, a class 3 felony, possession of a controlled substance, a class 4 felony, carrying a concealed weapon, a class 1 misdemeanor, and a habitual criminal charge.
Brown took a plea agreement, pleading no contest to the amended charges of attempted possession of a deadly weapon by a prohibited person, a class 4 felony, and possession of a controlled substance. He was found guilty.
His sentencing was scheduled for Oct. 23 at 11 a.m.; however, Brown did not appear in court until 1 p.m. Brown’s attorney, Jon Worthman, explained Brown’s tardiness to District Court Judge Travis O’Gorman.
“In the interim (between his plea and his sentencing), he’s been in the hospital for quite a while,” said Worthman. “There’s thirty new things here: acute kidney failure, acute respiratory failure, Legionnaire’s disease, which I’m hoping is not contagious, et cetera, et cetera. The long and short of it is, he had all of this going on, and forgot about coming to court this morning at 11, which he sincerely apologizes for.”
Deputy County Attorney Larry Miller noted that this was a difficult case, citing Brown’s criminal history. He requested a sentence of incarceration.
“He’s got a pretty significant criminal history,” said Miller. “He denies remembering a lot of things that you and I think someone should be able to remember. There are parts of this that would say anything less than a period of incarceration would depreciate the seriousness of this offense.”
Worthman noted that this was Brown’s first offense since 2002. He said, with Brown’s health, a period of incarceration would be tantamount to a life sentence.
“Mr. Miller is correct about Mr. Brown’s criminal record, but one thing I would like to point out set forth in the PSI (pre-sentence investigation) is that he went a long time without getting in trouble. Any order of incarceration for Mr. Brown would likely be a death sentence. He tells me he doesn't have any more than two years left at the most. Hopefully they’re wrong about that, but it is what it is.”
Judge O’Gorman explained that he was upset about Brown missing his sentencing that morning, but agreed with Worthman’s assessment.
“I was a little angry this morning when you didn’t show up, but you don’t look well, and according to that document I just read, you don’t seem too well either. I think Mr. Worthman is right. If I would send you to Lincoln to the penitentiary, it would probably kill you. Based on your long history, and your long period of non-criminal behavior, plus these are class fours, there’s a presumption of probation, unless I find substantial not to place you on probation, I think that is enough to give you a chance on probation.”
Judge O’Gorman sentenced Brown to a term of 12 months probation.