Convicted Fulton resident Joshua Brown will be back in court later this month facing felony murder.
Originally convicted of murder, possession of methamphetamine, hindering prosecution and tampering with evidence, Brown’s murder conviction was later overturned by Greene County judge Calvin Holden — a move surprising almost everyone involved with all facets of the case.
Friday, Jan. 4, Cedar County prosecuting attorney Ty Gaither’s office filed new murder charges on Joshua J. Brown stemming from a series of events in Nov. 2014, which resulted in the deaths of a fleeing suspect and Cedar County deputy Matthew Chism.
Brown currently is in prison for a host of felonies, including unlawful flight and possession of methamphetamine.
“It has always been our position that Brown was party to the events which resulted in Deputy Matthew Chism and William Collins’ deaths,” Cedar County Sheriff James McCrary said in a previous interview. “Those crimes and those circumstances all circle around Brown’s actions and he should be held responsible under Missouri law for exactly that.”
A probable cause statement obtained from the Cedar County Circuit Clerk’s Office affirms, during a post-miranda interview, Brown acknowledged he was aware of a .45 caliber pistol being in the vehicle, methamphetamine and drug paraphernalia, along with a backpack which contained gloves, masks, pliers, a pry bar and screwdrivers.
The crimes committed in part by Brown resulted in the death of suspect Michael Collins and Cedar County Sheriff’s Office deputy Matthew Chism.
The charges Brown currently faces fit the definition of felony murder, wherein participation in a felony resulting in death is the criminal responsibility of any participants.
Despite the expeditious nature of the timeframe for preparations, Gaither affirmed his office is looking forward to bringing the case to trial.
“We’re absolutely ready for this,” Gaither said. “We’ve issued the necessary subpoenas, we’re getting our witnesses together and have our prosecution efforts prepared.”
Gaither also said the trial has been granted a change of venue — a common practice in high-profile cases — allowing the criminal proceedings to take place in Vernon County.
Trial proceedings begin Tuesday Oct. 22, with Judge David Munton hearing the case from the bench.