Change of plea may be near in drug case
The Yuma man who was cleared in the fatal shooting of a Phoenix woman in a motel parking lot earlier this year, but charged with multiple drug-related offenses days later, is due in Yuma County Superior Court next month for a possible change of plea or trial setting.
During a brief hearing on Wednesday, attorney Ray Hanna, of the Yuma County Public Defender’s Office, informed the court that the prosecution has made full disclosure in the case. He also suggested that since his client will be appearing in another unrelated case later this month, that they both be held together.
Hanna represents Steven Phillip Brown, who has been charged with 10 felony offenses, including importation of a dangerous drug, importation of a narcotic drug and three counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.
He has also been charged with possession of marijuana, possession or use of a dangerous drug, possession of a narcotic drug, possession of a dangerous drug for sale and possession of a narcotic drug for sale. He remains in custody at the Yuma County jail on a combined $50,000 bond.
After hearing from both counsel, Yuma County Superior Court Judge David Haws, who is presiding over the case, scheduled Brown’s next hearing for 8:30 a.m. on Oct. 31.
Brown, who was arrested the evening of Sept. 9, less than half an hour after posting bail in a separate, unrelated case, has also been charged with possession of a dangerous drug and two counts of possession of drug paraphernalia.
Brown, along with his wife Crystal, were arrested at 7:10 p.m. after deputies from the Yuma County Sheriff’s Office conducted a traffic stop on their vehicle at Giss Parkway and Main Street for a traffic violation. During the course of the traffic stop, deputies requested the assistance of a canine and YCSO K-9 “Jax” responded to the scene.
With the assistance of Jax, deputies searched the vehicle and allegedly found quantities of methamphetamine, heroin and marijuana.
Brown had just been released from Yuma County jail at 6:49 p.m. after his wife posted a $5,000 bond. He had been arrested earlier the same day at the Port of Entry in San Luis on a warrant as he was coming back into the country. The warrant was also for drugrelated offenses.
In July, Brown was arrested in connection to the fatal shooting death of 28-year-old Perla Patton Sanchez, of Phoenix, in a parking lot near the Super 8 Motel located in the 1600 block of Riley Avenue. No charges were ever filed against Brown, who claimed the shooting was in self-defense.
James Gilbert can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 5396854. Find him on Facebook at www. Facebook.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twitter @YSJamesGilbert.
STEVEN P. BROWN