Floyd Brown, the 39-year-old Springfield man accused of killing McHenry County Sheriff’s Deputy Jacob Keltner, pleaded not guilty Wednesday in a U.S. District Court in Rockford.
Keltner was shot and killed March 7 in the parking lot of the Extended Stay America parking lot while serving a warrant, as part of the U.S. Marshal’s Fugitive Task Force.
According to media reports, Brown appeared in court seated in a wheelchair with a white brace surrounding his torso and casts on his right arm and left leg. He pleaded not guilty to three charges: murder of a federal law enforcement officer, possession of a firearm and a charge for filing off the serial numbers of the two pistols and one rifle he had in his possession.
Brown is also facing first-degree murder charges filed by the Winnebago County State’s Attorney’s Office.
He is due back in federal court on May 14.
According to a story in the Herald & Review, U.S. Attorney John Lausch said after the hearing that the government will review aggravating and mitigating factors to determine if it will pursue the death penalty against Brown. The decision is ultimately made by the U.S. attorney general, he told the Herald & Review.
Kane County law enforcers and the community as a whole are grieved for the McHenry County sheriff’s deputy, who had close friendships with law enforcers here.
How It Happened
According to police, Sheriff’s Office, court documents and multiple media reports, members the fugitive task force knocked on the door of the Extended Stay America in Rockford at around 9:15 a.m. Thursday with the intent to serve a warrant on Brown, who was on parole and wanted on warrants out of Champaign, McLean and Sangamon counties.
Brown apparently used a high-power rifle to shoot his girlfriend, who was with him in the room, and to fire through the door at police. He then jumped out of the third-story window, and encountered Keltner, who was positioned outside.
Brown shot Keltner in the head and sped away in a Grand Marquis.
Keltner was rushed to a hospital in critical condition and died about six hours later.
Illinois State Police spotted Brown north of Bloomington. At around 11:15 a.m., a trooper rammed Brown’s car, and the Grand Maquis crashed in a ditch off Interstate 55 near Lincoln.
Brown gave up about six hours later, reports said.