The man accused of uttering several anti-homosexual slurs before stabbing three musicians in midtown this week appeared in court on Thursday but did not enter a plea.
Timothy Brownell, dressed in an orange jumpsuit, conversed with his lawyer several times during the 10-minute proceeding before Sacramento Superior Court Judge Richard Couzens.
Brownell, 25, did not turn to look at his family members and friends sitting in the stand behind him.
He faces a felony assault charge stemming from an altercation he had with three men on the corner of 21st and O streets Sunday. He allegedly used slurs before stabbing the individuals, according to police. The case is being investigated as a hate crime. The victims’ injuries were not life-threatening.
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Outside the courtroom, Lori Brownell, the suspect’s mother, extended her sympathies to the victims and suggested her son’s service in Afghanistan contributed to the alleged incident. Brownell served four years in the Army before returning to California in 2011, his mother said.
“I do believe my son is suffering from PTSD,” she said, referring to post-traumatic stress disorder.
In a previous interview, Brownell, who is gay, said she was heartbroken by the allegation that her son is homophobic.
Brownell’s attorney, Robert Bratberg of Santa Rosa, said the family has hired a private investigator to gather more information in the case.
Brownell, an information technology worker, was first arrested Sunday on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon and illegal possession of a firearm. Police said they found guns during a search of his residence. He was released Monday on bail.
But police arrested him again Tuesday evening following new information that the incident was hate-related. In social media posts, the victims said the incident began after Brownell made a comment about skinny jeans.
Brownell’s next court appearance is scheduled for July 2, and he remains at the Sacramento County Main Jail in lieu of more than $1 million in bail.