Change of plea may be near in drug case

Yuma Sun - - NEWS - BY JAMES GIL­BERT

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 jgilbert@yu­masun.com or 5396854. Find him on Face­book at www. Face­book.com/YSJamesGilbert or on Twit­ter @YSJamesGilbert.

STEVEN P. BROWN

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