Fi­nal de­fen­dant takes plea in July as­sault

Record Observer - - Front Page - By HAN­NAH COMBS hcombs@kibay­

CENTREVILLE — The fi­nal de­fen­dant in a case orig­i­nally pros­e­cuted as a hate crime pleaded guilty to sec­ond-de­gree as­sault Wed­nes­day, June 1, in Queen Anne’s County Cir­cuit Court and was sen­tenced by Judge Thomas Ross to five years in the Queen Anne’s County De­ten­tion Cen­ter with all but 180 days sus­pended.

Charles Mickey Brown, 25, of Ch­ester Har­bor pleaded guilty to one count of sec­ond-de­gree as­sault in ex­change for the Queen Anne’s County State’s At­tor­ney’s Of­fice drop­ping seven other charges, in­clud­ing the hate crime charge. A first-de­gree as­sault charge had pre­vi­ously been dis­missed. The charges stemmed from an in­ci­dent oc­cur­ring July 4, 2015, at Howard’s Tav­ern, 6520 Church Hill Road in Ch­ester­town that re­sulted in the in­jury of Nathan Cry­der of Milling­ton.

Dfc. Seth Am­brose of the Queen Anne’s County Sher­iff’s Of­fice re­sponded to a re­ported

as­sault out­side the tav­ern at 1:26 a.m. Ac­cord­ing to charg­ing doc­u­ments, Am­brose found two in­jured men — one man bleed­ing from his head was sit­ting in the pas­sen­ger seat of a pickup in the park­ing lot, and an­other man was lay­ing on the ground in the rear of the park­ing lot be­ing at­tended by emer­gency med­i­cal per­son­nel.

The man on the ground was iden­ti­fied as Nathan Cr yder by his driver’s li­cense. He was flown by MedE­vac he­li­copter to the Univer­sity of Maryland Shock Trauma Cen­ter in Bal­ti­more for treat­ment.

In Cry­der’s state­ment to the po­lice, he said he and his wife had gone to Howard’s to get beer “to go.” Cry­der stayed out­side, while his wife went in. While he was wait­ing, Cry­der said he was struck in back; he turned around and rec­og­nized Chanelle Brown as the one

who had struck him. Then three men with her, in­clud­ing Charles Brown, at­tacked him, punch­ing and kick­ing him, throw­ing him into the brick wall where he hit his head and shoul­der; Cry­der said he was thrown to the ground and the men con­tin­ued to punch and kick him un­til he lost con­scious­ness.

The man whose head was bleed­ing was iden­ti­fied as Christo­pher Ho­ran. Dur­ing the at­tack on Cry­der, Ho­ran tried to in­ter­vene and pro­tect Cr yder and also was as­saulted, charg­ing doc­u­ments state.

Four in­di­vid­u­als were charged in the as­sault: Chanelle Brown, Javon Lee El­lis, Dar­ius Wade and Charles Brown.

Ac­cord­ing to doc­u­ments pre­sented by the Queen Anne’s County State’s At­tor­ney Lance Richard­son, Cry­der iden­ti­fied Charles Brown as the per­son who body slammed Cry­der to the ground thereby re­sult­ing in a bro­ken col­lar­bone and ro­ta­tor cuff in­jury, which ne­ces­si­tated re­con­struc­tive surgery.

Both Richard­son and Brown’s

at­tor­ney Kath­leen Kirch­ner stated racial slurs and ep­i­thets were a pre­dom­i­nant fac­tor in the in­ci­dent. Dur­ing the at­tack, Cry­der was, ac­cord­ing to charg­ing doc­u­ments called “cracker” and heard some­one say, “F- that white boy up.”

Kirch­ner told the court the “Nword” was re­peated fre­quently dur­ing the al­ter­ca­tion, cit­ing also Cry­der’s state­ment to po­lice, “a bunch of N- beat me up.”

Ac­cord­ing to Kirch­ner, there were two groups of peo­ple, sev­eral not iden­ti­fied, who par­tic­i­pated in the racial ten­sion, racial slurs and fight that oc­curred on July 4. Kirch­ner asked the judge to con­sider all the fac­tors in the in­ci­dent, in­clud­ing al­co­hol when he is­sued his sen­tence.

She told Ross there a his­tory of “bad blood” be­tween Brown and Cry­der, dat­ing back to an in­ci­dent in high school when Cry­der went to Brown’s house and be­gan an ar­gu­ment.

Brown said he was will­ing to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for his part in the as­sault.

“I can’t take blame for ever yone’s ac­tions,” said Brown. “I take re­spon­si­bil­ity for my ac­tions, what I did to de­fend my­self.”

Richard­son said Queen Anne’s County is a small com­mu­nity where vic­tims are not face­less and name­less and not as fa­mil­iar with this type of crime to the level of other ur­ban ar­eas such as Bal­ti­more.

“We are a com­mu­nity where we should be able to co-ex­ist,” Richard­son said.

“There are no ex­cuses for this type of ac­tiv­ity,” Ross said. “As­saults are never ap­pro­pri­ate.” Ross said he needed to send a mes­sage to that ef­fect with this case.

Brown is to be­gin serv­ing his sen­tence im­me­di­ately. Ross al­lowed for work re­lease and 24 months pro­ba­tion. He also or­dered resti­tu­tion to Cry­der for un­paid med­i­cal ex­pense.

Ross fur­ther ad­vised Brown to have no con­tact with Cr yder or Ho­ran and to ab­stain from vis­it­ing any bars.

Chanelle Brown, 28, also of Ch­ester Har­bor, en­tered an Al­ford Plea on May 5, 2016, in Queen Anne’s County Cir­cuit Court for the charge of sec­ond­de­gree as­sault. The ad­di­tional charges of as­sault, dis­or­derly con­duct, reck­less en­dan­ger­ment and ha­rass/com­mit a crime upon an in­di­vid­ual based on race or re­li­gious be­lief were dropped. Brown was sen­tenced to Queen Anne’s County De­ten­tion Cen­ter for a pe­riod 12 months, sus­pended all but four days to be served on two con­sec­u­tive week­ends. She was fur­ther or­dered to have no con­tact with Cry­der and pay court costs.

Javon Lee El­lis, 29, of Ch­ester­town was charged with first- and sec­ond-de­gree as­sault, reck­less en­dan­ger­ment, dis­or­derly con­duct and racial/re­li­gious harass­ment. But he died on April 17, 2016, prior to stand­ing trial.

Dar­ius Wade’s case was dis­missed as he was a co­op­er­at­ing state’s wit­ness.


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