New court date set for Corrine Brown’s retrial

File photo of former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown taken on Nov. 10, 2021. (WJXT)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Former U.S. Rep. Corrine Brown’s new trial on federal conspiracy and fraud charges will now take place in September.

It had previously been scheduled to start in February. However, her court appointed attorneys, who just took over her defense at the end of November, told the court they needed more time to review past trial transcripts and discovery material in the case.

They had filed a motion asking for a delay. On Monday, a hearing was held by phone to work out a new date for the trial.

Jury selection is now slated for Sept. 8 and 9, and the trial would start the following Monday — Sept. 12. The judge is setting aside three weeks for the trial, but the expectation is that it may not take that long.

Defense attorneys have until May 20 to file motions in the case. Prosecutors would have until June 17 to respond.

A plea deadline was set for Aug. 8. There was discussion over that because the defense attorneys mentioned in their motion negotiating a disposition, if possible.  Defense attorneys said they included that because there had been an offer from the government before they got involved.  But, they believe the case will wind up going to trial.

A status conference is set for Aug. 15.

Background on the case

Brown’s fraud and tax charge conviction was overturned earlier this year by the 11th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

The court reversed Brown’s conviction in a 7-4 decision, sending the case back to the district court.

Federal prosecutors offered her an extended plea agreement to avoid being retried and the possibility that she could return to prison, which Brown rejected. She wants her named cleared.

The government said they will put her on trial again on the same 18 felony counts involving an alleged charity scheme.

The appeal of Brown’s conviction argued the trial judge wasn’t justified in replacing a juror who said the Holy Spirit told him Brown was not guilty. After the juror was replaced, Brown was found guilty and sentenced to five years in prison.

Prior to the decision to overturn, Brown was already out of prison. She had served almost half of her sentence when she was released from prison after her attorney argued that at age 74, she was especially vulnerable to coronavirus.