Broome to be back in court

BELLAIRE — The woman accused of plotting the murder of her stepfather, former Powhatan Point Mayor Marvin Brown, is back in jail after she allegedly violated the terms of her bond by testing positive for drug use.

Merideth Broome will be back in Belmont County Eastern Division Court on Thursday morning to respond to the allegation before Judge Al Davies.

“It was sometime last week,” Belmont County Chief Assistant Prosecutor Kevin Flanagan said of the alleged violation. According to the revocation report, “she tested positive for drugs abuse, which is a violation of her pretrial supervision.”

Flanagan added that the judge will hear the evidence and decide whether this turn of events will impact Broome’s bond.

Broome last appeared before Davies at the end of March. At that time, her bond of $1 million was reduced to $20,000 in accordance with an agreement between the prosecution and defense.

Broome, 35, has a Georgia address, but she was arrested in Ohio County and extradicted back to Belmont County when officials uncovered what they believe to be new evidence in the 2013 crime. Brown was fatally shot in the back at his Powhatan Point home.

According to court records, an alleged accomplice who has not been identified or indicted, implicated himself as the gunman and revealed knowledge of the crime scene. He also described a gun Broome allegedly provided for the murder. That gun matches the description of one that had been owned by Brown that has never been located.

Brown’s term as mayor was from 1984-85. He also was the owner and operator of Powhatan Construction Co. and was a subcontractor for other local businesses.

Officials believe Broome instigated and facilitated the murder. The suspected gunman allegedly was paid $12,000 to kill Brown.

Broome is charged as an accomplice to murder and faces a maximum sentence of 15 years to life in prison. Flanagan said Broome has not been indicted and that the prosecutor’s office would not speculate as to when she might appear at the common pleas court level.

Flanagan declined to comment further on others who may be involved in the case.

Court documents allege that Broome’s mother, Deborah Doty Brown, who is also Brown’s widow, withdrew money from accounts owned by her husband and/or his business and that Broome paid the gunman with those funds. Deborah Brown was sentenced in May 2015 to one to three years in prison for theft and tampering with evidence. Officers who reviewed related bank statements after the murder reported that Broome’s mother presented forged bank statements to the Belmont County Probate Court after the victim’s death.