Plea Deal On The Table In Attempted Murder Of Willcox Police Officer

Randy Ray Brown [Photo courtesy Cochise County Sheriff's Office]

A Willcox man charged with attempting to murder a local police officer last November could enter a change of plea in a few days after being deemed restored to competency to stand trial.

Randy Ray Brown will be back in a Cochise County courtroom Sept. 5 for what is listed as a possible change of plea hearing. Details of the plea offer presented by the Cochise County Attorney’s Office will not be revealed until the hearing, but Brown’s criminal history suggests any conviction would require prison time.

Brown, 67, was taken into custody Nov. 3 after a seemingly routine disorderly conduct incident at a Willcox business led to officers pursuing Brown’s vehicle at speeds above 115 miles per hour. Prosecution of the case was delayed for several weeks earlier this year when a judge ruled Brown was incompetent to stand trial.

Judge Timothy Dickerson ordered Brown into a restoration to competency program conducted at the Cochise County jail. And on May 1, Brown was deemed restored to competency for purposes of understanding the charges against him and to assist in his defense.

Last month the parties requested a change of plea hearing, which Dickerson has set for Sept. 5. If a plea agreement is not finalized at that time, the judge could conduct a Donald Hearing, which involves a detailed description being made to Brown of the sentences he faces if convicted of all charges at trial.

Public records show Brown has remained in the Cochise County jail since his arrest on a $250,000 cash or secured bond. In previously arguing for a high bail, Deputy County Attorney Michael Powell noted Brown’s criminal history includes convictions for other acts of violence and weapons misconduct.

Court records show Brown was able to get inside his residence before officers arrived on scene. He barricaded himself and at one point used an AK-47 style rifle to fire several rounds at a Willcox PD officer who was sitting in a marked patrol vehicle.

The shots continued while the officer tried to back away from the threat. The officer was uninjured, but the patrol vehicle was a complete loss due to a fire caused by one or more bullets.

The incident continued for several hours until the Cochise County Sheriff’s Office SWAT unit performed a high-risk entry and took Brown into custody. A county grand jury later indicted Brown on several felonies such as attempted first degree murder, aggravated assault of a peace officer, arson, and weapons misconduct.

A routine, mandatory administrative review found no issues the officer’s actions and the officer returned to duty as soon as a medical clearance was obtained.


Willcox Officer Awaits Clearance To Return To Duty After Being Shot At Multiple Times