Sheriff's Office brings Scott man back from Tenn. to face 25 charges; Brown charged with bail jumping in 2018

Casey A. Brown. Courtesy of Cortland County Sheriff's Office/2018

More than 25 charges, five states and over two years have played witness to the drama of the case of Casey A. Brown.

Brown, formerly of Scott and most recently of Knoxville, Tennessee, was arrested Wednesday by the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office for bail jumping on a 2017 case that featured drug accusations, a reported murder-suicide threat and a machete.

The charges first started piling up when Brown, 33, threatened his wife with a machete on Nov. 2, 2017, while high on drugs, wrote Assistant District Attorney Jessica Weynant in a proposed plea agreement filed in 2018 with the County Court clerk. 

Brown’s wife called police, telling a dispatcher Brown was high and threatening to kill her with the machete, Weynant wrote.

In his sworn statement to police, Brown admitted he and his wife had an argument the night before about him getting high with his friend Jentre Bergman, a convicted methamphetamine manufacturer, while at Bergman’s home. Brown told Sheriff’s Office Investigator Sgt. Mark Beers, the couple later watched TV and then went to bed, before Brown was woken about 3 a.m. by what he thought was the sound of someone trying to break in to their trailer in Scott. Brown said he grabbed the machete to defend the home, told his wife to stay in the bedroom, and stood guard in the kitchen for three hours until the police came to the residence, according to his sworn statement. The machete belonged to his wife and was lying in front of the microwave, Brown told police.

After Brown’s arrest, an order of protection was issued against Brown forbidding him from making any contact with his wife, according to the court document. But the next day, while he was waiting in the Cortland County Correctional Facility for his next court date, Brown used the phone access number of two other inmates to start calling his wife from jail, Weynant wrote.

In the four days following his arrest, Brown called his wife from jail 34 times, violating the protection order each time, Weynant noted. On Nov. 3 he called her nine times, then 11 on Nov. 4, nine again on Nov. 5 and five more times on Nov. 6.

After the bevy of phone calls, Brown’s wife faxed a letter to Scott Town Court recanting her sworn statement to police, Weynant wrote.

Brown was charged with 34 counts of first-degree criminal contempt, a felony with a potential maximum sentence of 1 ⅓ to four years in prison, according to court documents. If convicted on all counts and sentenced consecutively, Brown could be sentenced to 45 to 136 years in prison.

Former Cortland County Judge William Ames set bail for Brown at $5,000 cash or $10,000 bond and Brown was bailed out, according to court documents. On Nov. 27, he was offered a deal to plead guilty to one count of first-degree criminal contempt as a second felony offender in exchange for a sentence of two to four years.

But that plea deal never came to fruition. By Nov. 29, Brown was out on bail and back at home with his wife, in violation of the order of protection.

Brown was also back to spending time with Bergman.

On Nov. 30, Brown’s wife found the couple’s second vehicle, a black 1995 Chevrolet Camaro, in Bergman’s driveway — a surprise as Brown did not have a license to drive it and his wife had just finished switching the car’s plates to a different vehicle at the Department of Motor Vehicles, according to police statements. She called the Cortland County Sheriff’s Office and reported the car stolen, according to a Sheriff’s Office incident report.

Brown produced the title to the Camaro with his name on it when Sgt. Knapp and Brown’s wife confronted him about the car while at Bergman’s residence, according to the report. Then Brown’s wife asked for the Camaro’s plates, which had already been transferred, and told Sgt. Knapp about an earlier incident that occurred the night before, police records.

The incident started around 11 p.m. when Brown’s wife discovered Brown was taking  drugs again, according to the wife’s sworn police statement.

“...I figured out Casey was high on drugs and told him I was leaving him for good,” she wrote in her statement. “He then came into the bedroom where I was and grabbed me by the throat, shoving me on the bed. Casey said if I left him, he would end up dead. Casey said, ‘Better yet, I’ll take you with me.’”

Brown was arrested again and taken to the Cortland County Jail, where he was interviewed by Investigator Sgt. Gallagher, according to a Sheriff’s Office report. Brown admitted his wife, as well as his mother, were angry with him for taking drugs and became “upset” when he was told he was being arrested for violating the order of protection, again, according to the report.

In her statement to police, Brown’s wife explained why she let Brown move back in with her after he got out of jail and why she did not immediately call police when he threatened her again.

She explains she believes Brown’s drug addiction is the source of his violence and hoped providing him with a home would help him stay sober. After he choked her, she planned simply to pack up and leave herself rather than call the police to arrest her husband again, according to her statement.

“Casey needs help for his drug addiction and anger management,” she stated. “I know I was allowing him to violate the order of protection. I was trying to keep him out of drugs. When he first got out of jail, he was doing well and there were no issues, but he got into the drugs with Jentre and everything went downhill.”

Jentre Bergman was sentenced on Nov. 19, 2019, in Cortland County Court to third-degree unlawful manufacture methamphetamine and sentenced to a year and a half in state prison, according to state prison and court records. Bergman was sent to Moriah Shock Incarceration Correctional Facility, a bootcamp-style prison in Minneville, Essex County, that aims to spur lifestyle changes through intensive corrections in exchange for a shorter prison sentence. If Bergman completes the program he could be released from Moriah as early as July 9, according to state prison records.

Six months after his November arrests, a Cortland County Grand Jury handed up two separate indictments against Casey A. Brown: a 15-count indictment charging him with various felonies and misdemeanors regarding his actions towards his wife in November and another indictment charging him with felony fifth-degree criminal sale of a controlled substance. It was unclear this week if Brown was out on bail again before or after the indictments were handed up. But what is clear, based on the court records, is Brown did not again return to court of his own free will.

A warrant was issued on July 25, 2018, to find and arrest Brown after he failed to return to court. A new Grand Jury was convened almost a year later and handed up a new indictment against Brown on April 5, 2019 — second-degree bail jumping, a felony.

By last Spring, Brown had already been on the run for almost a year.

Then, less than two weeks ago, Sheriff’s deputies got a call from Tennessee.

Brown was arrested in Athens, Tennessee, on charges arising in that state’s McMinn County, according to the Tennessee officers. Would Cortland County want to extradite him?

Cortland County Sheriff’s Officers drove more than 11-hours one way through Pennsylvania, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia and Tennessee to pick Brown up. On Thursday, Brown was back in Cortland County Court and being arraigned on his new charges.

Brown was remanded without bail. His next court date is still pending scheduling.

The 17 counts from the three above-mentioned indictments are included in the laundry list of charges Brown is being held on. He is also being held on 12 additional charges stemming from incidents that were not immediately clear. All told, his charges are:

  • Criminal Possession Weapon 3rd Degree- D Felony
  • Criminal sale of a Controlled Substance 5th Degree- D Felony                      
  • Promoting Prison Contraband 1st Degree- D Felony
  • Aggravated Family Offense (5 counts)-E Felony
  • Criminal Contempt 1st Degree (6 counts)-E Felony
  • Offering a False Instrument for Filing 1st Degree (two counts)- E Felony
  • Bail Jumping 2nd Degree- E Felony
  • Conspiracy 5th Degree- A Misdemeanor
  • Promoting Prison Contraband 2nd Degree- A Misdemeanor
  • Menacing 2nd Degree- A Misdemeanor                     
  • Petit Larceny- (2 counts) A Misdemeanor
  • Welfare Fraud 5th Degree- A Misdemeanor
  • Harassment 2nd Degree (2 counts)-Violation