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Here's why a federal judge denied Quintez Brown's release from custody

Judge Benjamin Beaton says evidence leads him to believe the man accused of trying to kill Louisville mayoral candidate is a flight risk and danger to the community

LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A federal judge ordered the man accused of trying to kill Louisville mayoral candidate Craig Greenberg to remain in federal custody until his trial.

U.S. District Judge Benjamin Beaton said in an opinion issued Tuesday he's keeping Quintez Brown in jail because he thinks Brown is a flight risk and a danger to the community. 

Brown allegedly shot at Greenberg six times in his campaign office on Feb. 14.

Greenberg said Brown was about 10 feet away from him when he opened fire. Four campaign staffers were in the office at the time of the incident. They were able to get Brown out of the office and barricade the door, according to court documents. 

RELATED: Quintez Brown went to Craig Greenberg's home before office shooting, court documents show

In April, a magistrate judge ordered Brown to be released while awaited trial. A condition of that release would have been for Brown to remain on home incarceration, but that order never took effect. 

The prosecution immediately appealed the judge's decision, and the judge put a stay on Brown's release until the matter could go before a district judge. 

Judge: 'He poses a flight risk'

Beaton, the district judge, said there suggested that Brown's character witnesses may have hurt his chances of being released and placed on home incarceration. 

In June 2021, Brown disappeared for 11 days. Friends and family said that the behavior wasn't normal for Quintez. After a community-wide search, Brown was found sleeping on a bench in New York City.

"The fact that he successfully and secretly left Louisville once is evidence that he could do it again," Beaton wrote in his opinion. "The Court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that he poses a flight risk and must be detained pending trial."

Beaton said the testimony from Brown's loved ones saying he had a mental break during his disappearance gave him further reason to keep Brown in custody.


The judge acknowledged Brown didn't try to flee during the seven weeks he was on home incarceration for the state charges he's facing, but even so, Beaton said he feels the high minimum and high maximum sentences Brown is facing could incentivize him to leave Louisville.

Brown was first arrested and charged at the state level with one count of attempted murder and four counts of wanton endangerment. 

After being released from jail and placed on home incarceration, the U.S. Attorney's office filed two federal charges against Brown. 

The first, interfering with a federally protected right, essentially means the prosecution is accusing Brown of trying to intimidate Greenberg from exercising his right to campaign. 

Brown is also charged with using and discharging a firearm in relation to a violent crime by shooting at and attempting to kill a candidate for elective office.

Uncertainty surrounding Brown's mental health another reason judge ruled to keep him detained

Brown's mental health status, which appeared to be one of his attorneys' main arguments for why he should await trial at home, actually ended up being a big reason the judge ruled to keep him behind bars. 

Beaton gave a lengthy explanation as to why he thinks Brown poses a danger to the community. 

In his opinion, the judge said Brown's defense argued he has been put on mood stabilizers and is getting counseling, but didn't explain how that treatment will keep him from being a flight risk or a danger to others.

"No mental-health expert or evidence indicated that treatment has lessened his future dangerousness," Beaton wrote in his opinion. 

Beaton said a letter from Brown's doctor said he needed to be hospitalized after being put on that medication “for his safety and stabilization of psychiatric mood symptoms.” 

Beaton said the evidence led him to believe if he were to release Brown to home confinement, there would be no guarantee conditions set by the court would keep the community safe. 

"The alleged crime remains incomplete, the campaign remains in full swing, the first gun remains unrecovered and the implications of Brown’s current mental health — despite treatment and medication — remain inconclusive at best," Beaton wrote in his opinion.

Since Greenberg is still campaigning for mayor, Beaton said he also believes if he were to release Brown, the candidate would possibly be at even higher risk. 

The judge pointed out on several occasions in his filing that his order to keep brown in custody is not him deciding if Brown is innocent or guilty. Beaton said that is for a jury to decide. 

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