Released then jailed, chiropractor accused of poisoning wife wants back out of jail
By Eric Fleischauer
For the Enquirer
A chiropractor whose bond was revoked when he failed to surrender a passport he said he couldn’t find is seeking release from jail so he can support the wife he is charged with attempting to kill.
Brian Thomas Mann, 34, a Hartselle resident with a chiropractic business in Decatur, was arrested Sept. 2 after being indicted for the attempted murder of his wife. According to a pending divorce case filed by his wife, Mann intentionally poisoned her with lead particles, leading to her hospitalization from Jan. 18 to March 3. Mann has denied the allegation.
Morgan County Circuit Judge Charles Elliott set Mann’s bond at $500,000 but added numerous bond conditions, including that he wear an ankle monitor and surrender both his guns and passport. Mann was released from jail five days after his arrest after posting bond, but Elliott revoked his bond when, on Sept. 14, the defendant advised his case officer that he couldn’t surrender his passport because he couldn’t find it.
Elliott issued an order that Mann must remain in jail until at least Oct. 24, when Mann’s arraignment and a hearing on his bond revocation will take place.
Attorney Christopher Weston of Huntsville, who was unavailable for comment Thursday, represents Mann in both the divorce and attempted murder cases. On Wednesday, Weston filed a motion asking Elliott for an emergency hearing to reinstate and reduce Mann’s bond and to amend the bond conditions so as to eliminate the requirement that he surrender his passport.
“The Defendant’s incarceration severely impedes his ability to maintain his business which is the sole source of his income allowing him to continue to support his wife and children,” Weston wrote, and to comply with his court-imposed financial obligations during the pendency of the divorce case.
Weston reiterated his client’s claim that the passport had been lost.
“The reason the Defendant was unable to locate his passport is because it was located in the same lockbox as his spouse’s,” according to the motion. “Since the associated divorce action, and the spouse having relocated, both her passport and the Defendant’s are missing.”
Weston said the U.S. Department of State has been notified that the passport is missing or stolen, which “should ‘flag’ his passport, ensuring it cannot be used.”
Weston also argued that it is not logical for the court to assume that Mann is keeping the passport with the intent of leaving the United States.
“Given the other conditions of the Defendant’s bond, of which he was fully compliant and which included an ankle monitor, there is no reasonable basis to believe that the failure of the Defendant to locate his passport could have led to his absconding this jurisdiction and/or somehow caused the Defendant to be a danger to the community,” Weston wrote.
Elliott had not ruled on Weston’s request for an emergency hearing as of Thursday evening.
Jerry Knight, a former Morgan County assistant district attorney who represents the wife in the divorce action, declined to comment Thursday on Mann’s effort to be released from jail but said there is a concern that the Coleman Street Northwest house where the couple lived prior to the divorce filing could be foreclosed upon if Mann fails to make mortgage payments.
“I don’t know if it’s a big issue or not,” Knight said. “We have a motion pending asking the court to require him to keep us apprised of the mortgage status, and we haven’t been to court on that motion yet.”
In that motion, filed Sept. 20 — 53 minutes after Mann’s bond was revoked — Knight said the Coleman Street house is subject to a mortgage.
He wrote that his client, who is renting an apartment and has two minor children, “is justifiably fearful that (Mann) will suffer loss of his employment owing to his indictment, probable conviction and long-term incarceration.”
Knight asked that the court award exclusive possession of the Coleman Street house to his client if Mann defaults on the mortgage and, if she cannot sustain the mortgage payment, that she be authorized to sell it. Mann is the sole owner of the house.
Knight said he has never seen a case like the one involving Mann and his wife, except “maybe on Forensic Files,” a televised crime documentary.
Mann’s wife on March 10 filed the complaint for divorce, in which she referenced her hospitalization for lead poisoning.
On May 19, the wife amended her divorce complaint to say that Mann “perpetrated acts of assault upon her person … by intentionally causing her to unwittingly ingest particles of lead.”
Mann is a licensed chiropractor in good standing, according to state records. He owns Advanced Chiropractic LLC at 2112 Sixth Ave. S.E., which on Thursday had a sign on the door stating that “Office will be closed until further notice. Sorry for this inconvenience. We will reach out as soon as possible.” Phone calls to the business’s number were not answered Thursday and the business did not respond to an email.
Advanced Chiropractic is on land owned by another of Mann’s companies, TVHW LLC. TVHW bought the half-acre property in 2020. It is appraised for tax purposes at $527,900. According to Morgan County records, the purchase was financed through a $318,750 mortgage loan from Progress Bank & Trust and a $198,000 mortgage loan from the North-Central Alabama Regional Council of Governments.
The Advanced Chiropractic clinic has a sign saying it contains an outlet for Advanced Weight Loss Clinics, a company that according to its website offers patients dietary and vitamin supplements in capsule form.
In written questions submitted July 14 to Mann by Knight in the divorce case, Mann was asked to describe the contents of “the dietary supplement you provided to your wife during the late summer of 2021 through the winter of 2021-2022.”
Also in the divorce case, the wife’s lawyer requested that Mann admit certain alleged facts. Among them was that for several months prior to her hospitalization, he provided her with capsules that he claimed were vitamins that “would strengthen her immune system,” and that she ingested the capsules.
Mann has denied the allegations, and the court has placed the divorce case on hold. Mann requested that the divorce case be stayed because, his lawyer alleged in a motion, Knight and the Hartselle Police Department were “working in tandem to obtain information concerning the Hartselle Police Department’s open criminal investigation. In short, this domestic relations matter is being used as an indirect avenue for criminal questioning and investigation.”
Danyula Flowers, executive director of the Alabama State Board of Chiropractic Examiners, on Thursday said the board is investigating Mann’s situation.
“That is an ongoing investigation so we are not able to comment, but we are aware of what’s going on,” Flowers said. “His particular situation is ongoing and they’re still gathering all the evidence needed in that particular situation. … In general, there is a process we go through as a board for those licensees to be reviewed.”
Under state law, the board can initiate license suspension procedures for various violations including immoral conduct, unprofessional conduct, patient abandonment or a felony conviction.