By Cristina Janney
A preliminary hearing in the murder of Tabor student Brandon Brown was stopped in its tracks Monday because of the absence of a witness.
The hearing for defendants Dequinte Oshea Flournoy and Alton Franklin on charges of aiding and abetting murder in the second degree was continued until Jan. 31.
Torry Hamill, 19, a McPherson College student, testified Monday in McPherson County District Court he was at a party at 438 N. Carrie St. the late night of Sept. 14 and early morning of Sept. 15.
Brown was found beaten outside of that party. He died of his injuries at a Wichita hospital on Sept. 23.
When questioned by McPherson County Attorney David Page, Hamill said he saw Franklin strike Brown on the cheek at which time Brown fell to the ground. He then testified he saw Flournoy strike Brown while he was on the ground.
During cross examination, Hamill said he was not sure it was Flournoy who struck Brown while he was on the ground.
He said another student at the party, Taajon Richardson, told him it had been Flournoy who had struck Brown the second time.
Page said Richardson has left McPherson College and moved out of state. Page said a subpoena for Richardson had been returned undeliverable. Page requested the hearing be continued for two weeks so a material witness warrant could be issued for Richardson compelling him to appear for the hearing.
The defense attorneys in the case, David Harger for Franklin and Kevin Loeffler for Flournoy, urged Judge Richard Walker to deny the motion, arguing their defendants had been in jail long enough.
Walker reluctantly granted the continuance, but noted finding time to schedule a continuance of the case was very difficult due to the recent and sudden retirement of Judge Carl Anderson.