Woman deemed unfit for luau trial

Published 10:29 pm Wednesday, September 8, 2010

A Suffolk woman has been found unfit to stand trial on involuntary manslaughter charges stemming from an 83-year-old woman’s death in August 2009.

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 last year.

Velma Brown

According to police, Brown pushed Newby when she believed Newby was cutting in line for entry to the event. Newby died 14 days later because of complications from a left hip fracture, her daughter Denise Tynes said.

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An 89-year-old woman also fell during the altercation, but she was treated and released at the hospital. Newby’s death was ruled a homicide by the medical examiner.

A judge ruled Brown incompetent to stand trial on Aug. 30, prosecutor Jim Wiser said. That ruling occurs when the defendant does not understand the charges against her or is not able to assist her attorney in preparing a defense.

Brown will undergo treatments that are deemed necessary to restore her to competency, Wiser added. A review date is set for later this month.