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Riverhead murder suspect admits to shooting wife: Court Reports

Robert Brown admitted to shooting his wife, according to the criminal complaint filed against him in Riverhead Town Justice Court.

Mr. Brown, 65, was arrested Tuesday and charged with second-degree murder in the death of his 71-year-old wife, Sarah, who was found dead in their Doris Avenue home following a standoff with police.

Police believe the shooting took place sometime between 2:30 a.m. and 9:24 a.m. on Tuesday, according to the complaint. Mr. Brown was ordered to undergo medical and mental evaluation at his arraignment Wednesday at Riverhead Town Justice Court.

Riverhead Town police responded to the home around 9:20 a.m. after receiving reports of a man carrying a handgun at the Browns home. Suffolk County Police Hostage Negotiators and Emergency Service Section then followed. Mr. Brown had barricaded himself for nearly four hours before being taken into custody and charged around 2 p.m.

“The charges were based in part on oral admission of (Mr. Brown) where in sum and substance, he stated ‘I shot my wife with a pistol in the neck area,’ ” according to the complaint, which was not read out loud at Mr. Brown’s arraignment.

His court-appointed attorney, Ian Fitzgerald of Central Islip, said Mr. Brown may be suffering from some type of dementia. Riverhead Town Justice Allen Smith said that a grand jury notice notice has been issued in this case, meaning the case could be moved to county court, which carries steeper penalties if convicted, if a grand jury indicts Mr. Brown.

If he is not indicted by Friday, Aug. 30, Mr. Brown will appear back in Riverhead Town court.

Photo caption: Robert Brown being escorted into Riverhead Town Justice Court Wednesday. (Credit: John Roca/ Newsday)

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