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Judge denies Michael Brown's request for early release from jail

Erin Mulvane, Houston Chronicle
Updated 2:13 am, Tuesday, March 26, 2013

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  • Michael Brown sits in the Harris County Criminal Justice Center as his assault trial continues Tuesday. (Melissa Phillip / Houston Chronicle)
    Michael Brown sits in the Harris County Criminal Justice Center as his assault trial continues Tuesday. (Melissa Phillip / Houston Chronicle)

 

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A Harris County judge denied former hand surgeon Michael Brown's attempt to be released early from his jail sentence, saying he seemed to be "sucking wind" instead of trying to comply with court orders.

The embattled Brown appeared in state District Judge Sheri Dean's court on Monday, a day before his planned jail review to request an early release.

His attorneys argued that his business needs his presence as it is being reorganized and its financial assets reviewed. His attorneys also argued to the judge that he suffered from E. coli poisoning in jail and that he wanted to see his children.

Brown was sentenced to 180 days in Harris County Jail this month for violating orders imposed during divorce proceedings with his fourth wife, Rachel Brown, who is part owner of the Brown Hand Center. He had numerous violations of a 2011 temporary injunction restricting the use of his financial assets.

STRANGE ABOUT-FACE: Brown changes mind on bankruptcy

Among those violations were the purchase of a $6 million Miami Beach high-rise residence, the three-month rental of a separate unit in the same high rise for $14,000 a month and a procurement of $3.57 million mortgage to buy another property in Miami. Other violations included jewelry purchases of about $111,000 and $35,000 with an American Express credit card.

Under terms of the 2011 temporary injunction, Brown was not to spend money, transfer assets or incur debt beyond what was "reasonable" for daily living or business.

Dean said Monday to the attorneys that she hoped that Brown's "entourage of experts" could have helped resolve some of the compliance issues. It did not appear a substantial effort at compliance had been completed, she said.

WHILE HE WAS AWAY: Two accused of trespassing at Michael Brown's house

"The issue today is why this court should consider early release other than usual problems for people in jail like not seeing their children or sometimes health problems," Dean said. "These are all liberties you lose when you don't do what you are supposed to do."

The judge ordered the attorneys to meet Monday afternoon to discuss the legal issues and work to get the case concluded. A jail review is scheduled for April 4. Dean said she would seriously consider his release if he can come back and say "he's done something, rather than nothing."

"I've got to see something more than this," she said.