Closing statements for trial

Closing statements and jury deliberations are expected to begin today, as the Andy Brown murder trial enters its final phase.

Testimony from witnesses for both prosecutor John McDonough and defense attorney Michael Hills concluded Wednesday, when seven witnesses took the stand on what was the sixth day of the trial.

Circuit Court Judge Paul Stutesman said juror instructions would be given this morning after closing statements from McDonough and Hills.

Brown, a 37-year-old Portage resident, is being tried on charges of first-degree premeditated murder and felony firearm in the Oct. 2 death of Sturgis-area CPA David Locey.

Det. Sgt. Lonnie Palmer, from the St. Joseph County Sheriff’s Department, was the primary witness to give testimony during Wednesday’s proceedings. He was on the stand for two hours and described in detail meeting Brown at the crime scene within an hour after Locey’s body was found, riding with him to the sheriff’s department that morning and subsequently interviewing him for more than an hour.

Palmer said at the conclusion of the interview, he placed Brown under arrest for embezzlement. The embezzlement charges stem from claims that Brown failed to present Locey payments in excess of $1,000 from various clients for which Brown worked as an employee under Locey.

Brown has declined the opportunity to appear in the stand, according to his attorney, Michael Hills.

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