Man indicted on additional charges in kidnapping, death of Ashanti Billie

Norfolk

NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The man accused of kidnapping and murdering Ashanti Billie is now facing additional charges.

Retired Navy veteran Eric Brian Brown is accused of abducting Billie from Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in September 2017. The 19-year-old’s body was found a week and a half later in Charlotte, North Carolina.

AshantiBillie_612828
Ashanti Billie

Brown was charged with murder and kidnapping by authorities in North Carolina. He was also previously indicted in Norfolk in December 2018 on charges of kidnapping resulting in death, assault resulting in serious bodily injury and theft.

In a superseding indictment filed Wednesday, the grand jury charged Brown with kidnapping resulting in death, assault with intent to commit aggravated sexual abuse and sexual abuse, assault with intent to commit a felony, assault resulting in serious bodily injury, theft of personal property and stalking.

Ashanti’s father, Meltony Billie, says they knew more charges were pending but now that everything has gone through they’re just taking it in.

He says they can’t express how grateful they are to everyone who’s making sure justice is served.

However, he did site disappointment in getting the Ashanti Alert legislation implemented.

A previous indictment showed the federal kidnapping charge carried with it a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison and a maximum sentence of the death penalty.

Prosecutors were later directed by Attorney General William Barr not to seek the death penalty against Brown.

Brown has been committed at the Butner Federal Medical Center in North Carolina since he was diagnosed with schizophrenia in December 2017 — and subsequently declared incompetent to stand trial. Multiple hearings to determine his competency have been pushed back over the last two years.

Prosecutors filed a motion last month for a judge to give doctors permission to forcibly medicate Brown, in order to restore his competency for a trial.

Virginia lawmakers created a law in response to Billie’s death to create the Virginia Critically Missing Adult Alert Program and the “Ashanti Alert,” which notifies the public to missing adults that didn’t fit the criteria for Amber (children) and Silver (senior citizens) alerts.

On Friday, U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) expressed frustration over inaction by the Department of Justice (DOJ). The Ashanti Alert Act was signed into law by President Trump nine months ago.

“The delayed implementation of this critical public safety program is costing lives,” wrote Sen. Warner.  “One of my major concerns is that despite my urging, there has been no outreach to relevant officials in the Commonwealth of Virginia, who successfully helped implement a Virginia Ashanti Alert system in only three months. Delaying these key conversations regarding best practices will only slow implementation of this life-saving system.”

In the Oct. 4 letter to the DOJ, Sen. Warner cited his numerous unanswered requests for updates on implementation efforts.

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