ST. CROIX — The wife of retired Lt. Colonel Elwyn Browne, Mr. Browne being a mainstay of Governor Albert Bryan’s campaign team who in 2019 was named chief of staff of the Adjutant General’s Office of the V.I. National Guard, frantically appeared at the Wilbur Command Police Station on St. Croix at 1:50 a.m. May 9, hysterically banging on the doors to let her in while screaming, “Please let me in, he’s going to kill me.”
That’s according to a probable cause fact sheet filed with the V.I. Superior Court by Police Officer Luis Casanova. Mr. Browne appeared in court for his advisement hearing Wednesday, along with his attorney Yohanna Manning. The government was represented by Assistant V.I. Attorney General Jasmine Griffin.
Superior Court Judge Miguel Camacho found probable cause for the charges levied against Mr. Browne by the government, including third-degree assault domestic violence, which comes with a five-year incarceration period, and carrying and using a dangerous weapon, which carries a maximum prison sentence of 15 years.
The court on Wednesday allowed the suspect to be released on his own recognizance pending arraignment after charges are formally filed. The government had argued that Mr. Browne seek permission before traveling and that he check in on a weekly basis with the court, along with being barred from contacting the victim. However, Attorney Manning successfully argued that Mr. Browne had never been arrested and was an outstanding member of the community, and that while he should be barred from making contact with the victim, the other stipulations were unnecessary.
According to the probable cause fact sheet, Officer Casanova attempted to calm Ms. Browne for approximately ten minutes after she arrived at the police station. While working to soothe the victim, Officer Casanova said he saw the victim’s left hand wrapped with a white cloth with what appeared to be blood on it. At that very moment, Mr. Browne arrived at the police station asking for his wife. Officer Casanova said he inquired of Mr. Browne what had occurred between him and his wife, but the suspect was uncooperative, said Officer Casanova. The officer wrote in the probable cause fact sheet that Mr. Browne stated, “This is a matter between us and I do not have to discuss that with you.” The suspect was asked twice again to explain what happened, however he kept refusing.
In a preliminary interview, the victim told Officer Casanova that during an argument Saturday night between her and her husband, Mr. Browne raised his hand while holding a metal butter knife and attempted to stab her with it. The victim stated she grabbed her husband’s hand to prevent him from stabbing her with the knife, and during the struggle her left pinky finger was cut by the knife. Even so, the victim said she was able to wrest the knife out of Mr. Browne’s hand and she then threw it away.
At that point, according to Ms. Browne, her husband started walking to his bedroom but she grabbed him to prevent him from entering the room, knowing it was where he kept a gun . Mr. Browne fought himself loose, at which point Ms. Browne said she waited for him to enter. She then locked the door from inside and hustled out the house to the police station, afraid that her husband would kill her, according to the probable cause fact sheet.
According to Officer Casanova, Ms. Browne kept saying she would never go back to the house because Mr. Browne would kill her.
Officer Casanova said he then went to the lobby of the police station to see if Mr. Browne was still there, however the suspect had left. Officer Casanova said he then traveled to the home of the suspect, where he advised Mr. Browne that he was being placed under arrest for third-degree assault as an act of domestic violence. Mr. Browne was also charged with carrying or using a dangerous weapon during the commission of a crime of violence, according to the probable cause fact sheet.
Domestic violence suspects are to remain incarcerated until their advisement hearing in court, according to V.I. Law. However, Officer Casanova said he received a call from Superior Court Magistrate Judge Ernest Morris (at that time it was between the hours of 2:00 a.m. and 3:00 a.m. Sunday), who ordered that Mr. Browne be released on his own recognizance — meaning without trial or bail — until his advisement hearing, which took place today.
This post was originally published on this site