Judge orders treatment

Published 10:25 pm Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Suffolk Circuit Court judge has ordered a woman charged with involuntary manslaughter to continue mental treatment in preparation for another court appearance on April 27.


Velma Brown, 60, will continue treatments at Eastern State Hospital to attempt to restore her to mental competency to stand trial. She is accused of pushing 83-year-old Elizabeth Newby at the 2009 senior luau at the Suffolk National Guard Armory.

Newby died two weeks after the incident from complications associated with a hip fracture.

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Brown initially underwent outpatient treatment with the Western Tidewater Community Services Board. However, professionals there recommended that she receive more intensive services, prosecutor Jim Wiser said.

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.

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 by allowing city employees to pick Newby up from the floor after her fall and place her in a chair.

The lawsuit has a May 17 hearing date set.