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Hearing for Smoker's Video owner delayed

Ronald Brown Jr. accused of manslaughter in death of 16-year-old

Ronald Brown Jr. makes his first appearance in court
Ronald Brown Jr. makes his first appearance in court

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – One of the owners of Smoker's Video who's accused of manslaughter in the death of 16-year-old Matthew Purdy is scheduled to appear in court on Tuesday after his hearing was pushed back Friday morning.

Ronald Brown Jr. faces charges of manslaughter and racketeering. 

Police said Purdy died at Ronnie Van Zant Memorial Park in Green Cove Springs after overdosing on synthetic marijuana purchased from a Smoker's Video store. Originally, he was believed to have had an allergic reaction to the chemical compound "Sunshine" found in synthetic pot. That was not the case.

Brown was one of 13 people wanted for arrest after a three-year investigation called Operation Chain Smokers that led to raids last month.

Local, state and federal authorties seized $62,089.75 in cash, 262 vials of "Sunshine," 3,317 bags of "Freeze," and two vehicles.

Brown wasn't captured the day of the raids but later turned himself in.

Brown was the only person charged with manslaughter, but the owners and managers were charged with either racketeering or running a criminal enterprise. Many were charged with multiple counts of selling a altered or mislabeled drug.

Purdy’s mother was at the courthouse Friday and about the delay.

"I’m upset. I wasted a day. I’m ready for this to move on," Brenda Purdy said. "In my eyes and if you knew Matt, he died to help get this guy off the street and to help other children and people and get that stuff done with."

Brenda Purdy said she will be back in court Tuesday to see what happens.


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