In the moments before her death, Charniese Brown desperately called for help.
Brown, 26, was killed at her home in Kenosha on Monday, allegedly by her boyfriend Ranon Brownlee. At a hearing on Wednesday, Kenosha Assistant District Attorney Angelina Gabriele explained the circumstances of Brown’s death and asked the court to put on $ 1 million bail while prosecutors continue to prepare the indictment.
Gabriele said the state would file a premeditated first degree murder charge against Brownlee, 51, on Thursday.
The prosecutor said Brown called 911 around 5:20 p.m. Monday.
“MS. You can hear Brown screaming for help. Crying. To say he was trying to kill me, to help me – he stabbed me to help me,” Gabriele said. “Then you can hear the shuffling and you can hear which sounds like stabbing noises. “
As police sped to the house that Brown and Brownlee shared with their mixed family of six children on the 1700 block on 73rd Street, the dispatcher put Brown on the phone.
“He’s killing me, he’s killing me, please help me. And then there is silence, ”said Gabriele.
In the background, she said, a man could be heard asking Brown who she was sleeping with.
“The dispatcher asks Ms. Brown if she is still with her,” said Gabriele. “There is silence. And then there is the sound of a shotgun. “
Kenosha police said they arrived at the house within two minutes of shipping.
“Mr. Brownlee goes out with his hands up,” said Gabriele. “He’s covered in blood.”
Dead at the scene
Officers found Brown on the back stairs of the house with stab wounds to the head and neck and a shotgun wound in the back. She was passed out. Gabriele said the police moved Brown to start medical treatment. The neighbors reported seeing Brown lying in the yard in front of her house while police and rescue workers tried to rescue her.
Gabriele said those efforts had failed and Brown was pronounced dead at the scene.
Evidence at the scene indicated that she had been attacked for the first time in an upstairs closet and attempted to escape through the house while the attack continued.
“There was an enormous amount of blood on the first floor,” said Gabriele.
Two serrated knives were found at the scene, and Gabriele said an autopsy was performed on Tuesday. The cause of death was found to be a shotgun wound on the upper body, along with multiple stab wounds cut through the arteries in Brown’s neck.
The couple’s children had been home at the time of the attack. They had heard Brown and Brownlee arguing and went outside to avoid the argument. The neighbors said they saw the children playing outside when the police arrived and the officers took the children to a porch across the street.
According to Gabriele, phone records, according to phone records, had sent angry text messages to Brownlee the day before her death because she believed she had cheated on him the previous weekend.
In a message, said Gabriele, Brownlee wrote: “Have fun tonight, as if it was your last.” In another he said, “Your balloon release party is coming.”
Gabriele said Brown’s family told investigators that Brown’s brother was recently murdered in Michigan and that the family had a balloon release as a memorial to him. Gabriele said Brownlee admitted sending the message but “denied it was a death threat.”
According to Gabriele, Brownlee admitted stabbing Brown at least seven times and then shot her on the stairs.
“He tried to explain his actions as self-defense,” Gabriele said, but she said the evidence and Brownlee’s injuries – cuts on his hands – seem inconsistent with that explanation.
Brownlee is a truck driver who has worked for the same company for more than four years, according to a defense attorney at Wednesday’s hearing. Although he has had relatively minor criminal charges in the past, the last one was mentioned in court 20 years ago.
Gabriele said Brown’s family reported telling them about previous incidents of domestic violence in their relationship. He was charged in 2019 with household battery and disorderly behavior involving Brown, but those charges were dismissed.
Gabriele asked the court to leave a temporary bail of $ 1 million. The state planned to file charges on Friday. Court Commissioner Dick Ginkowski ordered prosecutors to file the charges on Thursday.
“In this case, there are likely enough reasons to have your own zip code,” said Ginkowski. “I’m stopping punishing the state for not having a complaint ready today, (but) for the probable cause, this is an extremely strong case today.”
Brown’s mother, who spoke to the court, asked that if Brownlee was released on bail, he would be banned from returning home.
“This is my daughter’s and her children’s house, and we’re not even ready to sort that out,” she said.
Brownlee is expected to officially appear on Thursday afternoon after the charges are officially filed.