Franklin County principal describes murder suspect as "an average kid"
WDBJ7's Ashley Boles spoke with Jon Crutchfield, principal of Franklin County High School, where
was a senior in 2015.
According to Crutchfield, Brown was in ROTC for four years and was just an average kid.
“You know, it’s interesting. We have 2,200 kids and he was just an average kid. He didn’t stand out on either end of the spectrum. I think certainly folks remember him and know him, you know he’s been a part of the conversation the last couple of days, amongst our staff because they do remember him, but nothing extraordinary either way," said Crutchfield.
Crutchfield said Franklin County High School is operating as usual and will not go on lock down unless asked by the sheriff's office. He noted that the high school has four resource officers every day, as well as two security posts at either entrance to the school.
The elementary schools in Franklin County are also operating normally; however, they are not allowing students to play outside during recess.
Brown is accused of killing his mother's boyfriend last weekend in Franklin County, and he has been on the run since. Virginia State Police, the FBI, and U.S. Marshals have been searching the Roanoke area since an RV was abandoned there on Thursday.
An affidavit filed by the U.S. Marshals' Office reads, "On November 9, 2019, Mr. Michael Alexander Brown committed a homicide in Franklin County." It further reads, "Warrants for arrest were issued in Franklin County, Virginia and the Franklin County Sheriff's Office requested the United States Marshals Service to adopt the fugitive investigation for apprehension purposes under the violent crimes initiative and federal task force involvement mandated by Congress."
The next day, the affidavit indicates, investigators interviewed Brown's mother, who witnessed the killing and identified her son as the suspect. She also identified the vehicle in which he fled via photos taken from a gas station just before the murder.
The affidavit continues with information that November 12, the car was found in South Carolina.
That information, according to the affidavit, led to the belief that probable cause exists for issuing a warrant for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution, since Brown was believed to have left the Commonwealth.
Additionally, according to the affidavit, Brown is an active duty Marine who left his unit and place of duty without authority, and demonstrated his intent to stay away permanently, constituting the offense of Desertion.