After being subpoenaed to testify in the highly publicized trial, he told prosecutors he feared for his life after surviving a shooting himself.
One suspect was arrested for the shooting while another remained at-large.
“Josh was concerned that these people still meant him harm, so when he was subpoenaed to testify against Amber Guyger he was conflicted,” Lee Merritt, the attorney for the Brown family, who also represented Botham Jean’s family in the Guyger case, wrote on Facebook Tuesday (October 8).
“He wanted to do the right thing,” Merritt continued. “Prosecutors told him he had information they needed to ensure a conviction. He, in turn, told prosecutors and the Court about the danger he felt was associated with him testifying in a public trial.”
Brown ultimately decided that it was too dangerous and went to California and was there when the murder trial began.
Lee wrote that Brown was still in California on the day he was called to testify and “prosecutors hounded him, threatening to issue a warrant for his arrest if he didn’t appear in court on Day 2 of the trial.”
The 26-year-old man returned to Texas and went to the courthouse directly from the airport.
“I believe he met with the judge in her chambers (on the record) and reiterated his concern about testifying,” Merritt wrote, adding “that is why during his first public appearance in the trial the judge affirmed ‘you have already been sworn and are still under oath.’”
Brown was emotional on the stand and even wiped away tears at one point during his testimony. Judge Tammy Kemp became emotional too.
“The court has mechanisms to limit the exposure to witnesses,” Merritt wrote in his lengthy Facebook post.
Merritt said that extra precautions were put in place when an undercover cop testified in Guyger’s trial by cutting off cameras and instructing media not to report on it.
“Why weren’t the same measures taken to protect Joshua Brown?” Lee wrote. “Brown’s testimony was powerful but it was also duplicative. Nothing he testified to couldn’t have been brought in by other witnesses. It wasn’t worth his life.”