Judge sends woman for more treatment

Published 12:16 am Saturday, February 19, 2011

A judge determined Friday that a woman charged with involuntary manslaughter needs more extensive mental services.

Velma Brown, 60, will be sent to Eastern State Hospital to receive treatment to attempt to restore her to mental competency.


Brown is accused of pushing Elizabeth Newby at the 2009 senior luau at the Suffolk National Guard Armory. Newby died two weeks later of complications of a hip fracture.

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Police say Brown intentionally pushed Newby because she believed Newby was cutting in line for entry into the event. Another woman also fell during the incident but did not suffer serious injuries.

The Western Tidewater Community Services Board recommended that Brown receive more intensive restorative services, prosecutor Jim Wiser said.

Newby’s daughter is suing the city of Suffolk for $5 million, claiming the city acted negligently by not providing police officers for crowd control and allowing its employees to pick Newby up from the floor and place her in a chair.

Brown’s case will be reviewed March 28. The lawsuit has a May 17 hearing date set.