'Omitted spouse' files for her share

AIKEN - James Brown's widow contested his will in Aiken County court Thursday and demanded that a special administrator be appointed to oversee his estate.

Tomi Rae Hynie Brown and her 5-year-old son, James Brown II, were both left out of the music legend's will, which was drafted more than a year before the couple married in December 2001.

In two petitions filed in Common Pleas Court, Mrs. Brown says she is the music legend's "omitted spouse" and is entitled to either half or one-third of his estate.

She also demands that she be allowed to return to the Beech Island home to retrieve her and her son's belongings, which she says include furniture, china, clothing, photographs, artwork, toys and electronics. She was locked out of the home on Christmas Day after Mr. Brown's death.

A hearing is scheduled for 10 a.m. Feb. 9 in front of 2nd Judicial Circuit Judge Jack Early, who has been asked to remove the three men the late singer named as trustees of his estate.

The six children who are named in Mr. Brown's will are suing to have Buddy Dallas, Alford Bradley and David Cannon removed as executors, alleging that they've mismanaged their father's estate.

Mrs. Brown makes the same claim. In a personal affidavit, she says the trustees "frequently mismanaged my husband's affairs" and often missed due dates on bills, even leading to a cutoff of the electricity.

Mr. Dallas has questioned the marriage's legality and the paternity of her child.

Reach Sandi Martin at (803) 648-1395, ext. 111, or sandi.martin@augustachronicle.com.