Quintez Brown faces federal charges for “interfering with a federally protected right, and using and discharging a firearm in relation to a crime of violence by shooting at and attempting to kill a candidate for elective office,” according to a news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.
The Louisville student activist and writer is accused of trying to shoot Democratic mayoral candidate Craig Greenberg in February. If convicted on all charges, he would face 10 years to life in prison. The indictment was not immediately available.
Brown “discharged a firearm in an attempt to interfere with victim C.G.’s mayoral campaign in Louisville and to intimidate C.G. from campaigning as a candidate for mayor in the Louisville primary election,” the DOJ release said.
The FBI’s Louisville Field Office and Louisville Metro Police Department will conduct the investigation, according to the DOJ release.
Brown, 22, appeared in federal court Thursday afternoon for the first hearing in his federal case. After deliberating with lawyers, Magistrate Judge Colin Lindsay said the meeting would be continued in-person Friday. Brown will also be arraigned at that time.
“[Brown’s attorneys] have requested that the balance of the initial appearance be done in person,” Lindsay said. “We’re doing the initial appearance, notwithstanding the forthcoming motion to dismiss, because…there is nothing in the rules that delays the court’s obligation to conduct the initial and other preliminary proceedings, even if there is a motion that is either going to be filed or has been already made.”
Further information about any motion to dismiss the case against Brown was not immediately available.
Jail records show Brown has been held at the Grayson County Detention Center, southwest of Louisville, since Wednesday.
At the virtual hearing Thursday afternoon, a federal prosecutor told the judge the plan is to keep Brown detained throughout the proceedings, since he’s being charged with a crime of violence and others that carry a maximum sentence of life in prison. But Rob Eggert, one of Brown’s attorneys, argued against incarcerating Brown and requested a separate hearing about his client’s detention status.
“We have evidence that we want to present to the court at the detention hearing,” Eggert said, and requested that it take place next week.
Eggert also asked the court “to release Mr. Brown, who of course was out of custody, at home and under psychiatric care, when the federal authorities took him out of his house in his pajamas.”
Lindsay agreed to delay the detention hearing until a week from Friday, and said Brown would remain in custody until at least then.
“If the defense is seeking any extraordinary release in advance of the detention hearing, I would have to hear some additional authority on that. If you want to argue that [Friday], I’ll be all ears,” Lindsay said.
Brown was previously under home incarceration after being released on a $100,000 bond. His attorney and family have spoken about his struggles with mental illness, and a Jefferson County District Court judge permitted Brown to be released for a mental health evaluation in February.
Last month, the Louisville Urban League released a statement warning against the Office of the U.S. Attorney’s decision to seek federal charges against Brown.
“A federal indictment would mean detention without bail and the termination of mental health treatment. This does not seem fair or just. There are many cases in which the federal government waits on the local process to play out before weighing in. This case should be no different,” the statement said.
Brown was arraigned in the Jefferson County Circuit Court earlier this week after being indicted by a Kentucky grand jury. He pleaded not guilty to the felony charges against him.
Brown faces one count of attempted murder and four counts of wanton endangerment for his alleged actions at Greenberg’s campaign headquarters in Butchertown. Brown’s pre-trial hearing is scheduled to take place on June 9.
Roberto Roldan and Amina Elahi contributed to this story. This story was updated to include details about the federal indictment.