SOUTH BEND — A former Notre Dame assistant football coach facing three felonies related to an August police stand-off at his home notified the court Wednesday that he plans to use mental disease as his defense.
Corwin Brown’s attorney, William Stanley, told The Tribune he believes his client is suffering from a brain injury caused by his eight-year career in the NFL.
Brown "is not responsible for his conduct on Aug. 12, 2011 … because he lacked the substantial capacity to appreciate the wrongfulness of his conduct or to conform his conduct to the requirements of law, as the result of a mental disease or defect," Stanley wrote in a notice to the court.
The 41-year-old is accused of striking his wife and confining her inside their Granger home while he was armed with a deadly weapon. Police staged outside for nearly seven hours before Brown shot himself in the stomach and surrendered, according to court documents.
At Brown’s next hearing on Jan. 11, St. Joseph Superior Court Judge Jane Woodward Miller will likely appoint two doctors to evaluate Brown’s mental state.
Stanley told the judge he is concerned there are not doctors in the area that are familiar with professional football-related brain injuries.
He asked that he be able to submit a list of non-local doctors to chief deputy prosecutor Ken Cotter to be considered as possibilities.
After the judge appoints the doctors on Jan. 11, they will each perform a mental examination and submit a report to the judge on Brown’s condition.
Brown faces two counts of confinement, one a Class B felony and one Class C felony, and one count of domestic battery, a Class D felony.
If convicted, he could face a sentence of up to 31 years in prison.
Brown has been out of police custody since posting $5,000 bond at the St. Joseph County Jail Sept. 12. At a hearing Sept. 20, a judge agreed to delay the case while Brown underwent testing at the University of Michigan.
Stanley declined to comment on the results of those tests.
Before he was called to the judge’s bench Wednesday, Brown waited among other at-liberty criminal defendants and spectators in a courtroom gallery pew.
He ignored questions from reporters when he walked out of the courtroom.
Stanley said Brown is now living in Chicago with his parents, who were also at the St. Joseph County Courthouse Wednesday.
Brown coached at Notre Dame under Charlie Weis from 2007-2009. He was fired, along with Weis, after the 2009 season, then served as an assistant coach for the New England Patriots in 2010. He was fired from that post in February.