BRISTOL, Va. (WJHL) — The trial for a Bristol, Virginia police officer charged with murder is set to begin Monday, April 18 at 9 a.m.

Johnathan Brown faces several charges in the deadly shooting of Jonathen Kohler at a Bristol motel in March 2021. Roanoke Commonwealth’s Attorney Don Caldwell is prosecuting the case after he was appointed as a special prosecutor due to a conflict of interest with local prosecutors.

Brown’s murder charge stems from a shooting on March 30, 2021, during which prosecutors say Brown shot and killed Kohler, a Bristol, Tennessee man. In May 2021, city leaders announced that a grand jury had indicted Brown on charges of murder, use of a firearm in the commission of murder and malicious shooting into an occupied vehicle.

The deadly incident followed after Brown alleged Kohler refused to get out of his vehicle in the motel parking lot and drove toward Brown. The BVPD suspended Brown without pay pending the outcome of the investigation.

The 2021 incident was not the first time the officer was involved in a fatal shooting. In 2018, Brown responded to a welfare check that left a man dead. Prosecutors, however, found that he had not violated BVPD policy in the incident.

Now, prosecutors wish to use that incident to show a behavior pattern with Brown and allege that he escalates conflict to justify the use of force.

“The Court considers the evidence to be introduced highly relevant to the issues of motive, intent, malice and self-defense,” stated a letter authored by Judge Sage B. Johnson. “However, the Court also finds said evidence to be prejudicial, because of the fact that it involves a shooting by Brown while on duty and in uniform on July 23, 2018 resulting in death.”

Johnson followed by stating the court would only allow prosecutors to use testimony from the 2018 shooting death in rebuttal to the defense’s claim that Kohler had a “character trait for violence and aggression.”

The full letter is available below:

Abingdon Attorney Heather Howard is representing Brown in the case. Howard said she does not provide further comments during criminal cases.

The Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office also declined to comment further.