Ex-NFL player Sergio Brown, charged with killing mother, has been denied release

MAYWOOD, Ill. (AP) — Former NFL player Sergio Brown, charged with killing his mother, bought a one-way ticket to Cancun, Mexico, after being the last person seen with the woman before her slaying last month, a prosecutor said Wednesday.

Brown, who faces charges of first-degree murder and concealing a homicide, appeared in court for a detention hearing Wednesday before Cook County Judge Teresa Molina-Gonzalez, who denied him pretrial release. He will be detained until his next court date, scheduled for Nov. 22.

The body of his mother, Myrtle Brown, was discovered Sept. 16 near a creek in Maywood, about 12 miles (19 kilometers) west of Chicago. A medical examiner ruled her death a homicide and determined that she had been injured during an assault.

Brown, 35, and his 73-year-old mother lived together in Maywood.

On Oct. 7, Brown was deported to the U.S. from Mexico, and he was brought back to Illionis on Tuesday, local news outlets reported.

During the hearing, Brown stood in a gray sweatshirt and red basketball shorts with his wrists bound in handcuffs, the Chicago Sun-Times reported. He didn’t speak except when the judge addressed him and didn’t display any visible emotion.

Brown was the last person seen with his mother, and he was observed burning fabric the night of her death, Sept. 14, Cook County Assistant State’s Attorney Jose Villarreal said in court. Brown flew out to Cancun the next morning, and charges on his credit card suggest he had rented two homes in Colombia before being deported, Villarreal said.

The cellphones of Brown and his mother showed they were near the same location at the estimated time of her death, Villarreal said.

The prosecutor said investigators found similarities between DNA samples from under Myrtle Brown's fingernails and a toothbrush in Sergio Brown’s bedroom, but public defender Robert Fox refuted that, saying no one witnessed the crime.

“There’s no direct evidence, it’s all circumstantial,” Fox said in court.

Charnelle Dunlap, an assistant public defender who works with Fox, said her office was "not in a position to comment on the case at this time."

Brown attended Proviso East High School in Maywood and played college football at the University of Notre Dame. In 2010, he was signed by the New England Patriots as an undrafted free agent. He also played in the NFL for the Indianapolis Colts, Atlanta Falcons, Jacksonville Jaguars and Buffalo Bills through 2016.