Browning trial moved again

A hearing on Friday determined that Roy Browning’s first degree murder trial will be moved for a sixth time. Browning was arrested in April 2019 for the alleged murder of his wife, JoEllen Browning.


Johnson County Courthouse.

Sam Knupp and Meg Doster

The trial for Roy Browning, an Iowa City man accused of killing his wife, will be moved for a sixth time. The decision was made after a judge met with the defense and prosecution attorneys behind closed doors.

The trial, which was most recently set to begin on July 12, will be moved for a sixth time. The new start date is unknown as of right now.

Browning’s team also filed a motion to bar the prosecution from informing jurors that Browning either declined or stopped police questioning during an interview, and requested an attorney.

They also requested that testimony be barred from witnesses regarding JoEllen Browning’s activities, relationships between Roy and JoEllen Browning, and statements about their financial condition. The document says that statements regarding their financial condition “represent mixed hearsay.”

Furthermore Browning’s team wants to barre any testimony regarding:

  • His intent behind various financial transactions
  • Possible motives for allegedly killing JoEllen Browning
  • Opinion testimony concerning Browning’s truthfulness
  • Testimony arguing the truthfulness of the state’s witnesses
  • Out-of-court statements from the state’s witnesses
  • Evidence that a Johnson County Court judge allegedly agreed with the Johnson County Attorney’s recommendation that the defendant be charged

UI Health Care employee JoEllen Browning, 65, was killed April 5, 2019, in her home at 114 Green Mountain Drive. Authorities said Iowa City police responded to a call for a welfare check at 6:59 a.m. that day and found her unresponsive. Police found her dead at 7:07 a.m.

RELATED: Husband charged with first-degree murder of UI Health Care Budget Official JoEllen Browning

Final autopsy reports released on April 10 show that JoEllen Browning died of sharp-force injuries. According to court records, autopsy results showed she had been stabbed multiple times on the front and back of her torso and on her left hand. Her death was ruled a homicide by sharp-force injuries.

According to court documents filed in Oct. 2019, JoEllen Browning’s alleged murder may have been motivated by financial means.  The alleged murder was committed shortly before a meeting with a financial advisor who was going to inform JoEllen that her husband Roy had taken out multiple loans of which she was not aware.

Court documents also show that JoEllen Browning had a retirement account and life insurance policy worth over $2 million.

Browning was booked into the Johnson County jail on Oct. 28, 2019, on a $5 million bond. If convicted, he faces mandatory life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.