Court finds Ashanti Billie murder suspect incompetent to stand trial after schizophrenia diagnosis

Posted at 7:56 PM, Jun 04, 2018

NORFOLK, Va. - A court has found the man accused of kidnapping and murdering 19-year-old Ashanti Billie last September to be incompetent to stand trial.

According to court documents, attorney Andrew Grindrod wrote that Navy veteran Eric Brian Brown's doctors said he needs to be involuntary medicated because he is a danger to himself and others. Brown was diagnosed with schizophrenia in January, the documents say.

Grindrod said a retired nurse told him that there was an incident in which Brown had been put in chains to be brought out of his cell and swung the chain restraint at the guard. The nurse said Brown was medicated the day of the incident.

Brown was arrested in connection with Billie's abduction and death on November 8, 2017. A psychiatric evaluation was requested to determine Brown's competence to stand trial in December.

"Although this development is disappointing, we are confident that all parties responsible for Ashanti's death will be held accountable," said Ashanti's parents, Meltony Billie and Brandy Johnson-Billie, in a statement.

This Thursday there will be a hearing on whether Brown can be forcibly medicated.

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