Ashanti Billie’s accused kidnapper remains incompetent to stand trial


NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — A year after he was first charged with abducting and killing a teenager from a Virginia Beach military base, a U.S. Navy veteran remains incompetent to stand trial, court documents show.

Eric Brian Brown is accused of abducting 19-year-old Ashanti Billie from outside of her job at a sandwich shop on Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in September 2017. Her body was discovered in Charlotte, North Carolina 11 days after she disappeared. An autopsy showed that she died of undetermined trauma. Brown is facing a murder charge out of Charlotte.

Brown was first deemed incompetent to stand trial after a December 2017 psychological evaluation showed that he has schizophrenia and “catatonia.” A judge also determined that Brown should be involuntarily medicated for his conditions after he allegedly swung one of his restraint chains at a guard, according to documents filed in federal court.

A judge ordered that Brown be held at a government facility to treatment for a period of up to four months — then that order was extended again in June.

Two months ago, the government asked the judge to grant another extension, which expired on Oct. 20. 

Court documents state Brown’s lawyers are now arguing that there should be another opportunity to have an evidentiary hearing before another extension is granted — so that their own experts can evaluate the facts and data that led the federal psychologist to determine that Brown is incompetent to stand trial.

The lawyers stated they asked the federal facility to provide them with records relating to Brown’s treatment and diagnosis, but were denied the information, according to court documents.

“Without a hearing, Mr. Brown’s attorneys are essentially in the dark,” the documents state.

A judge is expected to make a decision on the lawyer’s arguments soon.

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