Trial delayed for fourth time for Roy Browning

Browning, accused of killing his wife, JoEllen Browning, in 2019, originally had a trial set for March 2020. After delays due to needing more time to prepare and COVID-19, this will now be the fourth time the trial has been delayed.


Contributed from the Johnson County Sheriff – Roy C. Browning

Rachel Schilke, News Editor

The trial for Roy Carl Browning, Jr., who was accused of killing his wife, JoEllen Browning, in 2019, has been delayed for the fourth time to allow Roy Browning’s defense to conduct independent review of forensic evidence.

JoEllen Browning was a University of Iowa Hospitals and Clinics budget executive before her death. According to court documents, JoEllen Browning asked her husband about discrepancies in their bank accounts on April 1, 2019.On April 5, 2019, the couple was set to have a meeting with their financial institution at 8 a.m., the court documents said, an hour after she was found dead.

As previously reported by The Daily Iowan, JoEllen Browning was found dead in her bedroom with multiple stab wounds to her back and front, according to court documents. The police reported a call from Roy Browning at 6:59 a.m., stating his wife was unconscious.

Police ruled her death a homicide from “sharp-force injuries”, court documents read. Police said there was no sign of a break-in and blood was found on the couple’s master bedroom floor, the shower, and the handle of the storm door, court documents said.

Roy Browning was arrested on Oct. 28, 2019 for her murder. He pleaded not guilty.

According to The Gazette, investigators found photos of “apparent banking records” at the Browning home. But when compared with known records, investigators found “numerous discrepancies” between the documents, including a non-existent account in the photographed record.

According to court documents, JoEllen Browning had a retirement account and life insurance policy worth over $2 million. During investigation, authorities discovered Roy Browning had been moving funds from their joint account – around $98,000 – into his own personal account.

The trial, originally set for March 2020, was delayed due to the defense requesting more time to prepare and set for Oct. 13, according to The Gazette

The trial was delayed a second time due to COVID-19 and delayed for the third time after the Iowa Supreme Court ruled in November that all trials would be suspended, as previously reported by The DI.

Now, the trial has been delayed while the defense submits items for testing and waits for them to be returned to police custody. The new date has not been released.

Browning’s bail continues to be set at $5 million. If convicted, he will face life in prison without parole.

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