NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Federal prosecutors want a judge to give doctors permission to forcibly medicate the man accused of kidnapping and killing Ashanti Billie so that he can eventually stand trial.
Eric Brian Brown is accused of abducting Billie from Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story in September 2017. Authorities found Billie’s body 11 days later in Charlotte, North Carolina.
An autopsy revealed she died of undetermined trauma.
Brown was charged with murder and kidnapping by local authorities in North Carolina. An indictment from a grand jury in December 2018 showed a federal kidnapping resulting in death charge against Brown carried with it a maximum penalty of death.
Attorney General William Barr in August directed prosecutors not to seek the death penalty against Brown.
The U.S. Navy veteran was declared incompetent to stand trial in December 2017 after doctors diagnosed him with schizophrenia. Brown was later committed at the Butner Federal Medical Center in North Carolina.
Competency hearings to determine whether Brown could stand trial have been pushed back multiple times since that time.
Federal prosecutors filed a motion Wednesday asking for an order to involuntarily medicate Brown in order to restore his competency for trial. The motion cited a treatment plan issued by Butner on Sept. 4 that “confirms Brown has been successfully treated with an involuntary medication regime.”
This plan reportedly calls for a multi-step, individualized medication plan for Brown to treat his schizophrenia and restore his competency.
The motion is asking that court order Brown be informed he must allow the treatment, under penalty of contempt, and be provided with one week to consider whether to comply.