Stepdaughter of former Powhatan Mayor appears in court

Crimes and Courts

The woman charged with being an “accomplice to murder” in the death of Marvin Brown was set to have a preliminary hearing on Thursday.

That hearing took several turns. In the end, Meredith Broome’s bond was lowered substantially, to the point where she may soon be out of jail.

Authorities say this is all part of the plan, and no one is at risk.

Broome waived her right to a preliminary hearing, so her case will move on to the grand jury. But that won’t happen this month, or perhaps even next month.

This gives authorities a chance to look at the bigger picture, which involves other suspects.

The prosecutor wants to present the case against all of the suspects in this murder at once.

“I want the grand jury to hear the case at one time, with the evidence as to all of them at one time. So at this point there are two of them that we’re pretty much done with. There are other ones we’re looking at. So additional time is needed,” said Belmont County Prosecutor Dan Fry.

Fry says it may happen in April or May.

In the meantime, Broome’s bond was lowered, by agreement of both sides, to $20,000.

“They recognize she’s not a flight risk and will come to whatever hearings are scheduled,” said Defense Attorney Dennis McNamara.

A bond this low means she may soon be released.

Officials say that’s fine.

“She’s been in the cross-hairs of our investigation for five years and she’s known that. And she hasn’t taken off or left and even when she was residing in Georgia, we know where she’s at,” said Fry.

And even though she’s a murder suspect, they don’t believe she’s a danger to the general public.

“We believe we know who committed the crime, and we believe we know the motivation for committing the crime. So yes, it was a situation where it was limited to that set of circumstances,” said Fry.

She also waived her Speedy Trial time rights, giving both sides more time to prepare until the grand jury meets.

“And what it allows us to do is to allow the Sheriff’s Department to have additional time to investigate the remaining defendants that we’re looking at,” said Fry.

They also cleared up the question of her name.

She appears on the court record as Meredith McLeod, but that was her maiden name.

They said her married name is actually Meredith Broome.

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