MAYWOOD, Ill. (CBS) – Former NFL player and Proviso East standout Sergio Brown pleaded not guilty on Wednesday to murder charges in the death of his mother..
Prosecutors said the case against the former NFL safety -- who played for the New England Patriots, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, and Buffalo Bills -- shows he is responsible for the murder of his 73-year-old mother, Myrtle Simmons-Brown.
The Cook County Medical Examiner's office said Simmons-Brown died from blunt force trauma.
DNA evidence from two men was found under Simmons-Brown's nails. One was a match to DNA found on Brown's toothbrush.
It's believed Simmons-Brown was killed on Sept. 14 after 6 p.m.
"Cameras in the area captured the offender burning items in a firepit on the evening of September 14," said Assistant Cook County State's Attorney Jose Villarreal. "Police later found burnt fabric in this same firepit."
Investigators found more evidence in Simmons-Brown's house, Villarreal said.
Prosecutors say hours later, Brown was on the internet buying an airline ticket.
"The offender booked a one-way ticket to Cancun on September 15 at around 3 a.m.," Villarreal said. "An Uber driver drove the offender to the airport early on September 15, and he flew out of Chicago that same morning."
Simmons-Brown's body would be found about 100 to 150 feet away from the back door of her Maywood home, which shared with her son. Her body was wrapped in a sheet in tall grass near a creek.
"A search of victim's residence revealed suspect Ajax and cleaning products in the bathtub drain - possibly indicative of it recently being cleaned. The victim's iPad, credit cards and phone were missing, but her cigarettes were left behind."
"U.S. Customs and Border Patrol out of San Diego recovered victim's cellphone, iPad, and numerous credit and bank cards in victim's name from a bag that the offender was carrying," said Villarreal.
On Oct. 7, Mexican authorities detained Brown and he was deported to San Diego. A passenger on the plane shot video of Brown.
While on the plane, Brown continuously said he was being kidnapped by authorities.
Prosecutors say Brown used his mother's credit card to purchase stays at two Airbnb locations. One. for which he paid $1,797, was in Medellin, Colombia - which meant he had planned to travel there from Mexico.
Prosecutors said Brown was, before he was able to travel to Colombia.
"Detectives Mirandized him," Villarreal said, "and he admitted going to Mexico and carrying the victim's belongings with him."
While in Mexico, Brown posted to Instagram - saying him being linked to his mother's death, was "fake news."
Brown's public defender said all the evidence from the prosecution is circumstantial. Brown is being held at the Cook County Jail while he awaits trial.
He is due back in court on Jan. 24.
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