A woman charged with murder in the stabbing death of 16-year-old Brandon Brocious on Aug. 9, was in court on Tuesday for a hearing.
Lorna Leen, 38, and a 15-year-old boy were arrested in connection with the stabbing and both were arrested and taken into custody the day after the killing.
At Tuesday’s hearing, Deputy Public Defender Rebecca Linkous, who is representing Leen, and the prosecutor, Deputy District Attorney Roger Rees, both agreed that more time was needed due to the amount of discovery in the case.
A preliminary hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to hold Leen for trial is scheduled for Nov. 7.
Eight members of the victim’s family, including his mother, father, sister and stepdad, were present in court wearing shirts in memory of the victim.
Following the hearing, Brocious’ stepdad, David Jacobs, spoke at length with two reporters outside of the courtroom and provided some insight about the teen and his family while other family members met with Rees in a private room.
Jacobs was wearing a shirt to honor Brocious that read “Justice for Brandon” on the front and “Compassionate Protector, Rest In Peace, 2002-2018” on the back. He also was wearing a black bandana of Brocious’ along with an amulet hanging around his neck that contained ashes of Brocious’ remains.
Jacobs described a young man who did his utmost to help those less fortunate and also as a teenager who dealt with his own demons.
“The interesting thing about Brandon and about how gregarious he was, he could talk to anyone, he would talk to anyone almost to a fault,” Jacobs said. “We’re actually coming into contact with different circles, different families that we’ve met very briefly or not at all and they’d say, ‘we love Brandon, he came by once a week to check on my son or my daughter,’ he adopted a lot of family.”
Jacobs went on to say the family was a mixed family and it was through that lens that he may have viewed the world.
“That’s how he kind of dealt with everything, either you were a stranger and someone new to meet, or they were brought into his circle,” Jacobs said.
Jacobs had no knowledge about how Brocious became involved with the suspects but he did say that no one from the family had met either.
“The connection was made after the fact,” he said, “Brandon didn’t identify them as ‘I am taking food to these people’ when he was going out on a mission.”
Brocious would take food to those who were hungry and living rough — the family’s work on local mental health issues has brought them into contact with local advocates such as Betty Chinn.
“Actually, because we are associated with Betty Chinn in different ways, that vibe is in our lives,” Jacobs said.
He said the family had started baking bread.
“We started baking bread about a year ago and Brandon was into that because it was a skill, and just, ‘hey we’re doing this wild sourdough stuff,’” Jacobs said. “We’re going to call it Living Bread and make loaves. He would drop off at say Third Street. So that’s where his head was in his good moods.”
Jacobs discussed briefly some of the issues Brocious dealt with as well, including premonitions of a violent death. Jacobs said Brocious had been deeply affected by the murder of a friend in Eureka in 2015 and that he had a dark side as well.
“In addition to being kind and generous, he had his own demons,” Jacobs said. “He was tormented, he had some very constant artistic motifs about the demons that plagued him in his sleep. He had been close to a couple of guys who had been murdered and he walked around with a sense of his own doom.”
Brocious’ social media posts echoed those thoughts and Jacobs said the family was aware of his social media as well.
“In his Twitter account, maybe a month before he was taken, he said, ‘you know, around here I’m probably going to die soon. I won’t be stabbed in the front, somebody who knows me is going to stab me in the front, they’re not going to stab me in the back.”
Jacobs said he and other family members focus energy on helping and supporting others, but that from here on out he wants to see justice.
“You know, no sympathy. I’m taking a side, and there’s no like, “oh let’s explain it away in terms of their upbringing or something like that.’ Everybody has dealt with some measure of trauma,” Jacobs said. “We’re all born into this losing game and it’s what we do as adults and human beings to make it better for ourselves and those around us. So yeah, no sympathy.”
Dan Squier can be reached at 707-441-0528.