Former police officer charged in federal crime wants to be tried separately

Franklin Brown

Former Marion police officer Franklin Brown, accused of using unreasonable force against a mentally disabled woman on a call last April, wants a separate trial from his co-defendant who is also a former Marion police officer.

Brown and Eric Walters were indicted by a federal grand jury in April on one count each of Deprivation of Rights Under the Color of Law for tasing the woman several times.

The officers were fired after the State filed charges against them for Misconduct In Office and Assault and Battery First Degree.

Brown's attorney, L. Morgan Martin, filed what's called a motion for severance for his client to be tried separate, saying it is necessary in order to provide a fair determination of the guilt or innocence of Brown in this case.

Martin argued Brown will not receive a fair trial if he is forced to defend himself against the State and Walters in this case.

Federal prosecutors are asking that Brown's motion be denied, saying his argument that a joint trial would be prejudicial to his interest is insufficient.

The judge has yet to rule on Brown's motion.

We'll let you know when a decision is reached.