By LAURENCE HAMMACK
Family members and an attorney, have been making public pleas for wanted murder suspect and U.S. Marine deserter Michael Alexander Brown to turn himself in peacefully.
Brown’s mother and grandmother — whom officials believe he was trying to reach when he was spotted in Roanoke on Thursday, Nov. 14 — made a public plea urging him to turn himself in safely.
“I’m scared for you. I love you, baby,” said Vanessa Hanson, Brown’s mother, in an interview with TV station WFXR News.
“We will get you a lawyer. We will help you. I won’t leave you,” she said. “Just please turn yourself in. I can’t lose another person.”
According to Associated Press reports, attorney Deborah Caldwell-Bono has agreed to represent 22-year-old Michael Alexander Brown. Caldwell-Bono said she doesn’t know where Brown is and hasn’t spoken to him. She said she talked to some of his friends, who asked her to represent him.
Hanson was a witness to the fatal shooting in Hardy and saw him flee, sparking an intensive manhunt that descended on the Raleigh Court neighborhood in Roanoke early Nov. 14, federal authorities say.
According to a criminal complaint filed by the U.S. Marshals, the woman identified her son, Michael Alexander Brown, as a suspect in the case.
The complaint, which charges Brown with unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, was filed as federal officials joined a search for Brown that continued Nov. 15.
Franklin County authorities have charged Brown with killing his mother’s boyfriend, Rodney Wilfred Brown, on Nov. 9 at a home on Woodthrush Circle in Hardy.
The next day, Michael Brown’s mother told authorities she was a witness and identified her son as a suspect, as well as the car in which he fled.
Surveillance photographs from a Franklin County gas station showed Brown just before the shooting, according to the complaint, filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Roanoke.
On Tuesday, Nov. 12 a second car linked to Brown was found abandoned in Clarendon County, South Carolina. By then, police had learned that Brown was driving a recreational vehicle.
The RV was found early Nov. 14 in the parking lot of St. Elizabeth’s Episcopal Church on Grandin Road, just a few blocks from the home of Brown’s grandmother. A suspicious person wearing a black jacket, who police believe was Brown, was seen tapping on the window of the house early that morning.
Dozens of police officers from at least five law enforcement agencies soon joined the search for Brown, who remains at large.
The Roanoke Times staff writer Alicia Petska contributed to this article.