Alleged 'naked carjacker' withdraws plea dealPosted: Updated:
PHOENIX -- In a last minute maneuver by defense attorneys, the plea deal for John Brigham was withdrawn Friday.
Brigham is accused of carjacking a vehicle and causing a string of car accidents in June while high on drugs and naked.
Video from the scene shows Brigham walking naked in the street screaming.
Brigham was once a senior vice president of commercial real estate for Case, Huff and Associates and senior vice president for Coldwell Banker. He is also a former high school teacher and football coach.
Friday was his scheduled sentencing hearing. The court was packed with both victims and Brigham’s supporters, some there to testify.
The sentencing never happened, because Brigham’s defense attorney’s withdrew his plea agreement, which had Brigham pleading guilty to a number of charges including robbery, theft, aggravated assault, and endangerment.
According to court documents, the plea deal was withdrawn after defense attorneys learned the prosecution failed to disclose that two of the alleged victims had prior felony convictions.
One alleged victim was convicted of negligent homicide.
Another alleged victim, convicted of endangerment, wrote a strongly-worded email to the court demanding that Brigham get the harshest possible sentence, even recommending the death penalty.
The victims are not on trial, but the prosecution was required to disclose whether any victims had prior felony convictions.
The prosecution indicated in court Friday that a better plea deal would not be offered in the future. There is now a possibility Brigham’s trial could go to court.
Outside the courtroom Friday, one of Brigham’s alleged victims, Camille Meng-McCallister, who has no prior convictions, expressed her frustration.
“I’m feeling a little upset that it keeps getting dragged on. I’m kind of let down,” said Meng-McCallister.
Meng-McCallister was pregnant when Bringham allegedly crashed into her car. She suffered two broken legs and still walks with a cane.
Meng-McAllister said she hopes if the case does go to trial, Brigham will get more than the five years in prison he was facing with the plea deal.
“I’d like to see him have to go away for quite a long time. I’ll never get back what he’s taken from me,” she said. “With him off the streets I will feel safe, I will fell like my baby is safe, like my family is safe, and society is safe.”
So far, McCallister said Brigham’s insurance company has not paid any of her bills.
She has started a website for donations: www.miracleon90thst.com.