York City mayor's son in treatment, now facing trial
York City Mayor Kim Bracey's son — accused of attacking his mother at her campaign headquarters last month — is now facing trial after his case was forwarded to York County Court following his preliminary hearing.
Brandon Anderson Sr., 31, did not appear at the hearing on Wednesday, Nov. 1, because he is currently in treatment, according to defense attorney Chris Ferro.
In response to media questions, Bracey has released a statement saying her son is battling an addiction to opioids.
Ferro had requested a continuance in a letter to presiding District Judge Joel Toluba on Monday, Oct. 30, but the request was denied.
Because Anderson did not appear at the hearing Monday, Toluba's office has asked the York County Court of Common Pleas to issue a bench warrant for his arrest, according to court records.
But Ferro said a York County judge must hold a hearing before such a warrant is issued, and he said he expects to sort out the matter.
Ferro's letter requesting a continuance states Anderson is receiving medical treatment and couldn't attend the hearing "due to transportation limitations."
Defense stipulation: At the 1 p.m. hearing, Ferro stipulated to the affidavit of probable cause filed by York City Police, which gives a narrative of the alleged attack.
His stipulation was for the purposes of Wednesday's preliminary hearing only, he said, and wasn't an admission of guilt.
Toluba then determined enough evidence exists for Anderson to face trial.
Anderson, of the 900 block of East Market Street, remains free on $7,500 bail, charged with simple assault and harassment for allegedly attacking his mother.
"He is receiving treatment in a facility in the northern part of the state," Ferro told reporters after the hearing. "This was a procedural matter to allow us to move the case forward."
Asked whether he intends to seek a negotiated plea agreement for his client, Ferro said he's hoping to "find common ground" with prosecutors.
"We'll see where things go, but I think the district attorney has been willing so far to discuss the matter and has kept the lines of communication open," he said.
Mayor in contempt? Toluba issued a contempt citation against Bracey on Wednesday afternoon for failing to attend the hearing, despite being subpoenaed.
The mayor said the only reason she didn't attend the hearing is because the York County District Attorney's Office informed her she didn't need to.
"The district attorney's office called my office today," Bracey said Wednesday. "I had every intention of being there, but I got that message, so I didn't go. I never questioned it."
Senior deputy prosecutor Seth Bortner confirmed he had a victim-witness coordinator in the DA's office call Bracey prior to the hearing to tell her she no longer had to be there to testify. He said that's common practice.
'Shocked': "We were shocked to hear a contempt citation was issued for the mayor," he said. "We certainly were not thinking Judge Toluba would do this."
"This is what I do in any case where a subpoenaed witness fails to appear," Toluba told The York Dispatch.
"If I didn't issue a contempt citation (against Bracey), then I'm treating her differently than I treat (other no-show witnesses)," he said.
On Wednesday evening, Toluba said he'd been made aware that the DA's office had informed Bracey her testimony was no longer needed.
He said the contempt citation would be withdrawn the morning of Thursday, Nov. 2.
Punch, kicks alleged: Charging documents filed by York City Police state Anderson was arrested about 11:15 a.m. Sept. 30 at Bracey's campaign headquarters on South Beaver Street after punching Bracey in the face, causing her to fall to the ground.
Anderson kicked her several times in the back, head and face while she was on the ground, charging documents allege.
Documents also allege Anderson tried to hit Bracey with a wooden flagpole before a bystander stepped in and stopped him.
Anderson spent nearly a week in custody after his arrest and was released from York County Prison on Oct. 6 after posting $7,500 bail, court records state.
— Reach Liz Evans Scolforo at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @LizScolforoYD.