This article was originally published on GoErie.com on March 21, 2018
A Fairview Township man accused in a recent double homicide appeared in Erie County Court Wednesday to deal with less serious charges.
Regis A. Brown, 58, who is in the Erie County Prison without bond in the homicide case, received six months in prison at his sentencing in a separate DUI case from November 2016.
Erie County Judge Stephanie Domitrovich sentenced Brown immediately after he pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor count of DUI and a summary count of driving while operating privileges suspended. The sentence, which included $1,300 in fines, was in the standard range of state sentencing guidelines.
Brown’s court-appointed lawyer in the DUI case, Thomas Brasco, said in court that Brown decided not to contest the DUI case because circumstances in his life had changed. Brown previously pleaded guilty in the DUI case but withdrew his plea in December.
“At this point, Mr. Brown did not see a point in exhausting the Commonwealth’s time … in fighting a DUI case,” Brasco said.
Brown is now charged with offenses including two counts of homicide in the deaths of his wife, 53-year-old Michele Brown, and stepdaughter, 35-year-old Tammy Greenawalt, at their residence at 6620 West Ridge Road on March 9. Pennsylvania State Police charged Regis Brown when the bodies were discovered March 12, after investigators said Greenawalt’s 14-year-old daughter went to school and told a school official that her grandfather had tied her up, stabbed her mother and bludgeoned her grandmother, according to court documents.
Brown’s preliminary hearing in the homicides is tentatively scheduled for Monday, although as of Wednesday morning he did not have a lawyer listed on court documents in that case.
Domitrovich pointed to Brown’s “abysmal record,” which includes criminal cases dating to the 1970s, as she sentenced him in the DUI case.
Search warrants in the homicide case indicated that Brown “has a lengthy criminal history to include firearms violations, aggravated assault, robbery, recklessly endangering another person, and is a person of interest in two previous homicides.”
Brown spoke little at the sentencing but responded affirmatively to questions from Assistant District Attorney Jessica Lasley about whether he understood his plea.
“I was wrong,” Brown told Domitrovich before being sentenced.
Millcreek Township police charged in the DUI case that Brown had a blood-alcohol content of 0.19 percent, more than twice the legal limit of 0.08 percent, when he drove a 2008 Jeep Patriot in the 5600 block of West Ridge Road on Nov. 11, 2016.
A manager at the nearby Walmart called police to report a male passed out in the Jeep in the store’s parking lot, according to the affidavit of probable cause filed by the criminal complaint. The driver then woke up and drove out of the parking lot, where he was stopped by police, the affidavit states.
Brown, who was the driver of the vehicle, admitted he did not have a driver’s license and smelled strongly of an alcoholic beverage, police said.
Brown’s record includes a 2004 case out of Erie County in which he received four years and three months to 10 years in state prison for charges including aggravated assault by vehicle while DUI. Investigators said the crash happened on June 12, 2004, on Route 5 in Lake City.