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Riverhead man facing murder charge arraigned in Suffolk County Court

Robert Brown, the 65-year-old Riverhead man who is accused of shooting and killing his 71-year-old wife, Sara, in their Doris Avenue home on Aug. 27, was arraigned on two Grand Jury charges Friday after having been hospitalized for several weeks prior, resulting in three postponed court appearances.

Mr. Brown was pushed into the courtroom in a wheelchair before Suffolk County Court Judge Mark Cohen.

He faces two felony charges of second-degree murder and one count of second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

The top charge caries a maximum term of life imprisonment.

Assistant District Attorney Daryl Levy said in court Friday that Mr. Brown shot his wife two times in the shoulder and once in the head, and that he then barricaded himself inside his home in a four-hour standoff with police, who eventually broke down the door and arrested him at about 2 p.m. that day. The prosecutor urged that Mr. Brown be held without bail.

Mr. Levy said police also recovered numerous handguns and long guns inside Mr. Brown’s home, although the indictment only references the one loaded gun.

“These are very serious charges,” Judge Cohen said to Mr. Brown while asking if he wanted to have an attorney appointed to defend him.

A Grand Jury indicted Mr. Brown on Aug. 29, but he could not be arraigned until Friday, as he was hospitalized for several weeks.

Ian Fitzpatrick, Mr. Brown’s court-appointed attorney, declined to say what was wrong with Mr. Brown.

Mr. Fitzpatrick asked for the court to have a competency test performed on Mr. Brown to ensure he understands the charges and can assist in his defense.

Although Riverhead police said in the criminal complaint against Mr. Brown that he admitted shooting his wife, Mr. Brown pleaded not guilty Friday.

Mr. Brown is due back in court on Oct. 11.

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