CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — A man awaiting resentencing for an armed standoff with U.S. marshals in 2007 has lost a bid to be released from prison for now, after claiming double jeopardy and citing coronavirus concerns.
A federal judge rejected Edward Brown’s request without comment Tuesday.
Brown, 77, was sentenced to 37 years in prison after the monthslong standoff at his home in Plainfield, New Hampshire. His wife, Elaine Brown, received a 35-year sentence, but the judge decided in January she could be released after serving over 12 years. She is seeking a divorce.
The Browns holed up in their home after they stopped showing up in court for their trial on tax evasion charges. They were arrested by marshals who posed as supporters and discovered weapons, explosives and booby traps.
Prosecutors recommended that Edward Brown, who served about the same amount of time, be resentenced to 30 years to life imprisonment. His hearing has been postponed because of the pandemic.
One conviction against the Browns, carrying and possessing a destructive device in connection with a crime of violence, carried a mandatory minimum 30-year sentence. It was vacated in light of a U.S. Supreme Court decision last year that found the “crime of violence” term vague.
Edward Brown’s lawyer asked that Brown be released immediately or have a detention hearing. He argued that Brown completed his sentences on all the other convictions and that resentencing him would violate the Fifth Amendment’s double jeopardy prohibition against multiple punishments for an offense. Prosecutors argued against his release.
The lawyer also argued that Brown is part of “at-risk” groups for the coronavirus because of his age, and that medical records show “he has a longstanding history of poorly-controlled high blood pressure.”
Brown is being held at the Merrimack County jail. The jail reported a staff member tested positive for the virus in March, and it has since taken precautions. Superintendent Ross Cunningham said in email Wednesday that no one else at the jail has tested positive since.