Ex-Student Dodges Hate Crime Charge, Pleads Not Guilty To Other Charges In Roommate Poisoning Case
Brianna Brochu allegedly bragged about poisoning her ex-roommate, Jazzy Rowe. Rowe says she is still sick from Brochu's actions.
A few months ago, we told you about a University of Hartford student, Jazzy Rowe, who claimed that she’d discovered that her former roommate had been poisoning her.
Rowe posted a video to Facebook explaining that she’d been sick for a while, and recently learned that her ex-roommate, Brianna Brochu, had been putting rotten food in her beauty supplies, and had even smeared her backpack with a used tampon.
After these allegations caught the attention of the media, Brochu was expelled from the university and arrested.
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Now, the Hartford Courant reports, Brochu has had her first day in court.
Despite telling police at the time of her arrest that she did indeed put her blood and other bodily fluids on Rowe’s belongings, Brochu pleaded not guilty in court this week.
She is charged with breach of peace and criminal mischief.
Brochu requested a trial by jury, and will be back in court on January 29.
Telling her side of the story, Brochu said that she never got along with Rowe in part because she says Rowe was rude and posted videos online of Brochu snoring.
For her part, Rowe believed that Brochu didn’t like her for a number of reasons, including the fact that she is black. Rowe posted a screenshot of a post Brochu allegedly made about her that refers to her as “Jamaican Barbie.”
The NAACP and others have pushed prosecutors to charge Brochu with a hate crime.
This was not discussed during this week’s court date, however, prosecutors did say that they will decide how to proceed based only on the evidence.
Brochu’s lawyer, Thomas Stevens, said that he was fairly sure no hate crime charge would be added.
Members of the NAACP gathered outside the courthouse to protest this decision.
“We are very, very disappointed with the prosectors,” NAACP president Scot X. Esdaile said, accusing the prosecution of “not pressing this case hard enough.”
Rowe responded to the news on Facebook, and also expressed disappointment in how the case is proceeding.
Like the NAACP, Rowe questioned why Brochu isn’t being charged with a hate crime, and wrote, “Not only that, but so far she still only has those two little misdemeanors against her. What about all the other crimes she committed?”
Rowe also accused the justice system of being biased.
“The system only protects their own,” Rowe wrote. “They could careless [sic] about the rest of us … as long as their own is good, they are good.”
Finally, Rowe posted a video lamenting that doctors still have not yet been able to cure the illness she says she got from Brochu’s actions, and that while her ex-roommate is missing school for court, she continues to miss classes for doctors’ appointments.