MAYWOOD, Ill. -- Former NFL player Sergio Brown pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of first-degree murder and concealing a homicide in the September death of his mother.
The body of his mother, 73-year-old Myrtle Brown, was discovered Sept. 16 near a creek in Maywood, about 12 miles (19 kilometers) west of Chicago. The Cook County Medical Examiner's office said the woman died from blunt force trauma, determined that she had been injured during an assault and ruled her death a homicide.
Brown, 35, and his mother lived together in Maywood.
Brown was arrested in San Diego on Oct. 10 after being deported from Mexico and was extradited to Maywood two weeks later. He admitted going to Mexico with his mother's belongings, and prosecutors said he was using his mother's credit card in Mexico in the days after her death.
Prosecutors say investigators found similarities between DNA samples from under Myrtle Brown's fingernails and a toothbrush in Sergio Brown's bedroom. But public defender Robert Fox has refuted that statement, saying no one witnessed the crime.
"There's no direct evidence. It's all circumstantial," Fox said in court at a detention hearing for Brown in October.
Brown played football at Proviso East High School before his collegiate career at Notre Dame and professionally with the Patriots, Jaguars, Colts and Bills.
He is next due in court Jan. 24.