Woman deemed unfit for trial

Published 8:49 pm Wednesday, July 25, 2012

A Suffolk woman has been released from treatment after being found incompetent to stand trial for involuntary manslaughter.

The case of Velma Delaine Brown, 61, will again be reviewed in February 2015. Brown is accused of pushing 83-year-old Elizabeth Newby in August 2009, causing a hip injury that led to her death.

A doctor from Eastern State Hospital testified in court on Tuesday, sharing her opinion that Brown is “unrestorably incompetent.” Brown has undergone two stays at the hospital, the most recent for six months, prosecutor Jim Wiser said.

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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.

The incident occurred at the Suffolk National Guard Armory on Aug. 12, 2009. Brown allegedly pushed Newby, because she believed she was cutting in line for entry into a senior citizens’ event sponsored by the city.

Newby suffered a broken hip and died two weeks later from complications of the injury.

A $5 million civil lawsuit against the city in the case is set to go to jury trial on Oct. 24. Newby’s daughter, Denise Tynes, has sued for wrongful death, claiming the city acted negligently by failing to provide crowd control and by allowing employees to pick Newby up from the floor after her fall and place her in a chair.