Brown Trial: Not Guilty, Not Surprising

Categories: Courts

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Michael Brown is not a guilty man.
In a strictly legal sense, today's not guilty verdict in Dr. Michael Brown's assault trial was probably the right call. Although prosecutors Jane Waters and Nathan Hennigan probably did the best with what they had, they didn't have much.

Rachel Brown had no obvious signs of injury on August 13, 2010, waited over 30 minutes to call 911, wasn't rushed to the hospital, and, in an extremely undramatic 911 call, told the dispatcher that she was just going to go ahead and go see her doctor later that morning. Her physician testified that he gave her a few steroid shots and a muscle relaxer.

The jury knew Brown had previously pleaded no contest to an assault charge; that was all they were allowed to know -- it was strictly so they could be told why a normally misdemeanor charge was enhanced to a felony.

More than anything, we hope that Brown includes Montgomery County District Judge Suzanne Stovall on his long list of people to thank for his freedom. It is only because of Stovall's inexplicable rulings in 2007 that Brown never wound up in prison.

The background: in a truly nuts deal in 2002, Brown got ten years' deferred adjudication for pleading no contest to severely beating his previous wife. As part of his probation, he was subject to drug and alcohol testing. He tested positive for cocaine in 2006 and the Texas Medical Board revoked his license.

Then, in February 2007, Stovall decided that Brown's probation could be lifted if he stayed out of trouble for the following six months. When the Montgomery County District Attorney's Office pointed out that he had tested positive for coke, which was, like, illegal and stuff, Stovall opined that the testing protocols were questionable, and gave him a pass. In August 2007, Stovall lifted Brown's probation and sent him on his merry way.

Had Stovall not lifted the probation, Brown would have remained on probation until January 2012.

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Michael Brown in a DIY video.
Within that timeframe, it appears that Rachel tried to get out from under Brown's grip at least three times.

In 2005, while testifying on Brown's behalf in a custody battle against his previous wife, Rachel admitted that she called 911 on the night of February 22, 2003, and told dispatch that her husband was going to kill her. Apparently, Brown was upset that Rachel had been out late at the Houston Rodeo with a friend. He wound up being escorted from the premises in the back of a police car. Rachel filed for divorce a few weeks after the incident, only to withdraw her petition a few weeks later.

Then, in a 2006 affidavit filed in Harris County District Court as part of a temporary restraining order, Rachel alleged that Brown "assaulted me, spit on me, pulled my hair, and degraded me in front of the children." She also alleged that after one assault -- which occurred when she was nine months pregnant -- she tried to document her bruises with a video camera. But Brown grabbed the camera and "demolished" it, she alleged.

Had that alleged evidence not been destroyed, that might have been the end of Dr. Brown. He was still on probation at the time. But we're guessing Rachel was taught a very harsh lesson that day about what happens to women who try to stand up to Michael Glyn Brown.

But that wasn't the end of it: In 2009, Rachel called 911 and complained that Brown was trying to kill her and her family. It began when she and Brown were snorting cocaine, and then Brown tried to make her swallow some pills, per a police report. Brown told the responding officer that he had no idea what Rachel was talking about, adding that she frequently made up stories.

Although she had no signs of injury, she was taken to Memorial Hermann Southwest for observation.

Houston Police Department Spokesman John Cannon read us some police notes from that incident: "We get a call from dispatch saying that she wanted to speak with an officer at the hospital....The woman says that she needs help and wants to get out of her marriage, but she's afraid to. So the officer at that time advises her to contact family violence investigators in the morning." But there's no record that she ever contacted investigators at the time.

Brown and Rachel are separated, but we wonder if there's going to be another wife, and more 911 calls. And now, Brown has this verdict to point to. What woman in his orbit would ever dream of making a cry for help from the authorities given that knowledge? And what prosecutors would even want to go up against Brown again after this?

The verdict might be right. But that doesn't mean it's not wrong.

The Taiwanese-animation version of events is here.


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38 comments
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Jeparmer
Jeparmer

someday brown will screw-up and up in prison where he will meet wife number 5. big bad bubba buthumper.

Toni1
Toni1

Ellen YarlOrEarl Lilly can help!

What Happened to Integrity
What Happened to Integrity

What does Brian Wice have against mothers?  He described Rachel Brown as a woman with "bunch of kids" and no skills - or something like that.   He ought to feel ashamed, but I doubt he will since his main goal in life seems to be seeking attention.  

This cruel statement got him on TV and talked about.  I do wonder if sometimes - at night - when I assume he is alone - he thinks maybe he did something wrong?

naaaaaa.

A Woman Who Knows
A Woman Who Knows

Craig,

You show a real understanding of domestic violence.  Thanks for exposing Mr. Brown.  Please keep it up.

Sincerely,

A Woman Who Knows

Seen It With My Own Eyes
Seen It With My Own Eyes

For whoever thinks Rachel Brown is a gold-digger - what does that make ex-Dr. Brown?  He probably thought he was buying a trophy wife - she is much younger, didn't graduate high school, and was a single mom when they married.  

Maybe he thought that she'd take his abuse since he'd given her so much.   He thought he'd paid for her silence.  He was wrong.

Problem is, they had 2 kids together and stayed together a long time.

Just maybe - at some point - even if you believe this started out as a money-deal - maybe - she wanted a real family and a real husband.  Maybe she wanted someone who would be nice to her, not cheat, and treat her with respect.  

Sadly - she'd never, ever get it from this guy.  He just isn't capable.

I read a comment on one of these forums in which someone said they'd get smacked for a million dollars.  Hey - I would too.

I wouldn't - and I doubt anyone would - get smacked around, humiliated, and abused for almost 10 years - for any amount of money.

To Rachel Brown:  Be proud of yourself for making a public stand.  Lord knows you've probably tried to stand up for yourself all these years - behind closed doors.   The best revenge is living well.  Do that, please.  

Stephen
Stephen

So Rachel marries a known wife beater for money, then moves on to a known cheater does she think Bagwell is going to not cheat on her. Bagwell had an mistress for over 11 years and they just broke up less than a month ago. So Rachel's new boyfriend was cheating on her from the start. The mistress dumped him when she caught him. How long until Rachel leads Bagwell down the drug route. What a mess. She should get mother of the year award.

Toni1
Toni1

Thanks to you know she knows....

Let's just hope she doesn't create the definition of insanity- Doing the same and expecting results.

John Nova Lomax
John Nova Lomax

I'm hoping Wice and DeGuerin et al are taking their spiritual granddaddy Percy Foreman's quote to heart this afternoon: "I don't represent wealthy clients," Foreman once said. "If they weren't poor when they came to see me, they are when they leave."

Geezy
Geezy

What a shame, that this man can continue to beat women and so long as he can slander them in court with a million dollar attorney he can continue doing so. She may have her faults, addictions, etc but if only part of her testimony is true then it confirms what we know about Brown being a piece of shit. 

Like the canned comment floating around at the moment "Good thing he's a hand doctor, he's going to develop carpal tunnel from all the high 5's he'll be giving with that verdict"

Corey
Corey

He did it, and told his sob story in every holding room at Harris County, while I hate to admit to being there, I did hear it firsthand. The man is a wife beater, and unrepentant about it.

Hugh Ramsey
Hugh Ramsey

Can we all agree at least that she should have known what she was getting into?

Craig Malisow
Craig Malisow

You're right, Hugh, and I've been writing that sentiment for years now, most recently in one of the other pieces about this trial.

Hugh Ramsey
Hugh Ramsey

Yep.  Doesn't mean he's not a piece of shit.  Just makes me less likely to get worked up over it.  Shame it takes a rich weirdo to get publicity for what unfortunately happens far too often (abuse).

Toni1
Toni1

Any man who touches a woman is a trash!

Wyatt
Wyatt

Yeah, it absolutely doesn't absolve Brown of anything, but seriously - who marries a known piece of shit like him?

Texmex01
Texmex01

Um, a gold digging cocaine fueled stripper?

Toni1
Toni1

Not nice....to judge unless you have facts..regardless no one deserves abuse!Period.

Wyatt
Wyatt

I mean, that could be one candidate. You know this about the woman for sure, though? 

Jim C
Jim C

If she were really that much in fear for her life and her children's safety, she could have left.  But then she wouldn't have the mansion, the cars, and oh, access to all that money.

HeatherM
HeatherM

You should be ashamed of yourself, do you know the wife and kids, then you have NO RIGHT TO JUDGE or make harsh comments, they are wonderful people and that's not the reason women stay it's because attorneys in Texas make you do what the laws state until the divorces are finalized, get your facts straight jerkoff! 

Allison
Allison

"Women are at highest risk of injury or violence when they are separating from or divorcing a partner." PBS "75% of women who are killed as the result of a violent relationship are killed while trying to leave."  Women are more likely to be killed during or after leaving their abusers than at any other time in their abusive relationships." But then it's so fucking hard to google some readily available information right?

Toni1
Toni1

Fear is the case...She's scared...money can do cruel and believable (accidents)...Texas is a man state. Look it up! It changed to get more fathers involved and stay...good for stellar dads, but this one loss cause but can pay well.

Jim C
Jim C

Just like it's so hard to be receptive when gratuitous profanity is involved.

Allison
Allison

Oh noes! A tone argument! I'm properly chastised now.

Craig Malisow
Craig Malisow

Hi Jim C -- thanks for writing. Let me ask you this, then: why do so many battered women stay with husbands who aren't wealthy? Just something to think about.

Thanks,Craig

Jim C
Jim C

Thanks for the gracious response, Craig.  Um...I don't know about other women.  I've known women who have put up with abuse because they think they deserved it or it was their fault.  Or because they reeeeaallyy love him.  Or because they understand him and think it will get better.  Or because they've "invested so much into the relationship".  Or because they're embarrased to have a marriage fail.  And really, I don't understand any of the justifications.

But we're talking about Rachel Brown, and from what I've read...which is really all I know...it appears there have been opportunities.  Divorce proceedings that have been cancelled.  Charges that have been dropped.  Opportunites to seek assistance that have gone unused.

Having never been a woman before - I would imagine if I were one, and I had children, I would choose a modest lifestyle involving a small apartment, a used Suburu and safety over a lavish lifestyle that involves abuse.  But that's just how I think I would roll.

Been Doing This For a While
Been Doing This For a While

All women are looking for a way to stop the violence, and many of them are also looking for a way to keep their families together - yes money is a factor - but it is so complicated. It is extremely difficult to understand unless you've had personal experience of some sort.

NOBODY gets beat and "does nothing" about it.  They try a million things - before they realize that the problem isn't theirs to fix.  He's the only one who can make the choice to stop being violent.

Until the women figure THAT out they:  try being nicer, try setting boundaries, tell their friends, ask their pastor/priest to intervene, go to counseling,get legally married if they were living together,  leave for a few days, ask his friend to help out, have a baby, go to church,  call the police, try to get the charges dropped, file a divorce, dismiss the divorce, try counseling, fight back....etc and repeat.In the meantime:  their self-value is wrecked, they are in real danger, their kids are damaged,  their friends and family get tired of them, they become ashamed, isolated, some medicate with alcohol and drugs, become trapped in the day-to-day living (goal - don't want him to get violent), and can't think about the complicated and difficult task of actually leaving and staying safe.  As far as knowing about his history - oh yes - I wish everyone took a look at that.  But, they don't because:  he's told her his ex is a bitch, but you are nothing like her, his ex lied to get custody, the ex is jealous, crazy, a drunk - you get the idea.  The new one thinks she will be different.  And that is hindsight anyway - once she's in, and especially after she has a child, she's dealing with him forever.You think a battered woman is  is just going to say "see ya" and her spouse is going to wish her well? No way - and nobody knows it more than the woman who is living it

Craig Malisow
Craig Malisow

I think all of those screwed-up justifications you cited can apply to any battered woman, regardless of their station. Which only makes it all the more frustrating. As I replied to Hugh, I've taken Rachel to task before, since she knew what she was getting into. But Dr. Brown is a real strange cat, and I think we're only seeing the tip of the iceberg, as far as the scary-depravity factor.

Sarah
Sarah

I think that Brown taunted her with "where are your kids going to go to school?" is particularly telling, the idea being that she is going to mess up her kids' future and leave them with nothing just because she didn't like getting roughed up.

Texmex01
Texmex01

well, in her case I would imagine its beacuse she'a gold digging cocaine fueled stripper, don't know about the other less fortunate women.....

Craig Malisow
Craig Malisow

Hi, Texmex01 -- I assume you're trying to be clever. I'll give you a mulligan on that one and will eagerly await your second stab!

Thanks,Craig

Brittanie Shey
Brittanie Shey

Are you saying this because you know her personally?

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