Woman arrested in luau altercation

Published 9:34 pm Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Suffolk Police have arrested a 59-year-old woman accused of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of an 83-year-old woman following a senior event in August.

Velma Delaine Brown is charged with the death of Elizabeth Newby as a result of injuries sustained in a fall at the senior luau at the Suffolk National Guard Armory on Aug. 12. Brown intentionally pushed Newby when she believed Newby was cutting in line for entry to the event, according to police.

Newby died 14 days after her injury because of complications of a traumatic left hip fracture, her daughter Denise Tynes said. Another woman also fell during the altercation, but was treated and released at Sentara Obici Hospital.


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Tynes said even Brown’s arrest cannot bring her mother back.

“At this point, I really have no more feelings about that, because it has taken so long, so I’ve had time to heal,” Tynes said. “I never really thought a whole lot about [Brown] anyway. It was just me and my mother.”

In the nearly nine months since the incident, the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office served search warrants on several doctors who treated Brown in the past, seeking evidence of mental illness.

“I don’t know anything about her, but for someone to do something like that there has to be a problem,” Tynes said. “I don’t think a normal human being would do something like that.”

City spokeswoman Debbie George said the incident was forwarded to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office late last year after the death was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner.

Brown was arrested Friday after the grand jury issued an indictment on April 28. Brown was taken to Western Tidewater Regional Jail and released on a $5,000 bond.