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Arraignment moved for La Quinta couple charged with killing 2-year-old


Arraignment was rescheduled today to March 22 for a man and his wife, who are charged with murder in connection with the death of his 2-year-old son in La Quinta.

Derrick Allen Brown, 47, and Patricia Ann Brown, 48, were arrested Monday in the 48600 block of Camino Maya in Coachella on murder warrants stemming from an investigation into the death of Deetrick Brown on Jan. 16, 2003, according to the Riverside County Sheriff's Department.

The warrants were issued and charges filed last month.

The Browns, who are being held at the Robert Presley Detention Center in Riverside in lieu of $1 million bail each, were scheduled to be arraigned this afternoon at the Riverside Hall of Justice. But the arraignment was pushed back to March 22, when a judge will also consider sending the case to the Coachella Valley, according to court records.

The Browns were initially arrested in connection with the toddler's death in June 2003 when authorities served a search warrant at their home in the 51000 block of Avenida Velasco in La Quinta.

The Browns were both charged with murder, but a judge ruled at a preliminary hearing in October 2003 that there wasn't enough evidence for them to stand trial, according to John Hall of the Riverside County District Attorney's Office.     "The sheriff's Central Homicide Unit and our office took a new, closer 

look at the case and we now believe there is enough evidence to file the murder charge against both defendants," said Hall, who declined to elaborate further on his office's review of the case.

The tot died at Loma Linda Children's Hospital about two months shy of his third birthday. He had suffered a seizure at his home the day before he died of "acute and chronic abusive head trauma," according to a declaration prepared in support of an arrest warrant.

The toddler suffered several seizures between November 2002 and January 2003, and medical personnel noted that in past examinations he was malnourished and had bruises and an "inflicted" burn on his hand, according to the declaration.

"Each time Deetrick suffered an injury and/or seizure, including the fatal injury, 2-year-old Deetrick was in the physical care of Patricia and/or Derrick Brown," the document stated.

Deetrick, who was Derrick Brown's child with a girlfriend, didn't have a pre-existing medical condition or injuries from an accident, according to the declaration.

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