Mental evaluation delays Brown trial
by GREG KAYLOR, Banner Staff Writer
Apr 03, 2013 | 818 views | 0 0 comments | 3 3 recommendations | email to a friend | print
A mental evaluation has not been completed and that has delayed the trial for a man accused of a New Year’s Day 2012 murder. The trial was set to begin Tuesday.

Russell Brown, was charged Jan. 2, 2012, after investigators alleged he killed Harold Lee Montgomery, 39.

Brown was 35 at the time of the alleged first-degree murder.

According to court officials, the state hasn’t had adequate time to complete a mental evaluation.

A notice for evaluation was filed Feb. 28, according to officials.

Montgomery was reportedly stabbed to death at Days Inn located on Georgetown Road.

Brown was established as a suspect in the case after Cleveland Police Department investigators learned the two men had rented a room at the motel. According to the investigation, Brown reportedly set the room on fire and fled the scene.

Preliminary autopsy results indicated Montgomery died of multiple stab wounds and not smoke inhalation. Montgomery’s body was found in the burning motel room New Year’s Day just after 7 a.m.

Brown and Montgomery had reportedly celebrated New Year’s at Brown’s apartment the night before, and then left, according to reports, to get alcohol and drugs. He then reportedly returned to the motel room.

The two men were also celebrating Brown’s birthday, which was New Year’s Eve, according to investigator’s reports.

The Cleveland Fire Department was notified of a fire around 7 a.m. at the motel and when firefighters arrived, they dragged Montgomery out of the burning room and discovered he was deceased.

After learning Brown could be a possible suspect in the alleged murder, detectives released information about his identifying characteristics and about the car he was apparently driving.

Montgomery’s 1995 Volkswagen Cabriolet was missing from the motel parking lot, according to early reports. Brown was named a “person of interest” in the alleged homicide,

Detectives learned the men had known each other since childhood and met on occasion for sexual relations, according to reports.

Richard Hughes of the Public Defender’s Office is the defending attorney in chief.

Stephen Hatchett, assistant district attorney general, is in charge of the prosecution for the state.

The trial has been reset to begin May 21.