Yesterday, Patricia Brown was sentenced to 40 years, which is the maximum sentence for 2nd degree murder. Following a jury trial, she was acquitted of first degree murder. At the hearing, two members of the victim’s family spoke. Then Patricia briefly spoke on her own behalf, still proclaiming her innocence.
Usually, when the family of the victim speaks at the sentencing, and when the defendant still proclaims her innocence, a greater sentence will be imposed than in your run-of-the-mill sentencing hearing. In this case, myself and Tom White, as her defense attorneys, were fully prepared for her to receive the maximum sentence.
However, 40 years is much better than life without mercy. In her case, she will come up for parole in 10 years – actually 9 years since she has already spent one year in jail. – John H. Bryan, West Virginia criminal defense attorney.