JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A federal judge on Friday denied a request to delay sentencing for former Jacksonville City Council members Katrina Brown and Reggie Brown — for now, anyway.
The Browns, who are not related, are scheduled to be sentenced May 19 following their convictions in October on conspiracy, fraud and money laundering charges. The charges stem from a federally-backed loan and a city grant obtained by a barbecue sauce business owned by Katrina Brown’s family.
Attorneys for the Browns asked a judge this week to push back the sentencing in light of the coronavirus outbreak. In response, the U.S. Attorney’s Office argued that the court should wait until the week of May 4 to make that decision.
While the a judge ultimately denied that request, he left the door open for the former city council members to file renewed motions after April 30 if it’s deemed appropriate.
Sentencing was originally set for Jan. 27, but the hearing was postponed after Katrina Brown got a new attorney. The hearing was then moved to March, but it was delayed once more until May 19 in response to defense motions.
In deciding to grant the previous request for a sentencing delay, the judge acknowledged the arguments made by prosecutors but said this case has been different from most in terms of the defendants’ representation: both initially had private attorneys, then asked the court to appoint their counsel. Katrina Brown chose to represent herself at trial, then hired an attorney for sentencing, followed by Reggie Brown’s latest hiring of an attorney.