NORFOLK, Va (WTKR) — For hours on Tuesday, the question of whether Eric Brian Brown will be able to regain his competency through medication was argued.
Brown is a former Navy veteran accused of kidnapping and murdering Virginia Beach college student Ashanti Billie.
Billie is from Maryland but was attending college in Virginia Beach and working on JEB Little Creek.
Investigators say Brown abducted Billie from the base and killed her, leaving her body behind a church in North Carolina.
Brown was arrested and then diagnosed with schizophrenia. Since then, he has been held in federal care facilities. He is currently at FMC Butner. Since his arrest, he has refused to voluntarily take medication. However, he has been forcefully medicated at times because according to staff he has been violent and attempted to attack guards and staff.
During the hearing on Tuesday morning, Dr. Logan Graddy, a doctor and Chief Psychiatrist at FMC Butner, took the stand for the prosecution.
Dr. Graddy explained to the judge that he believes Brown could eventually regain his competency because when they had to forcefully medicate him, he showed signs of improvement. However, because Brown won’t voluntarily take medication, they can only provide a small amount of medication to Brown, just enough to keep him from attacking other.
Dr. Graddy testified that if Brown was put on one of the facility’s treatment plans, he believes Brown could regain his competency and stand trial for the crimes he is accused of.
The defense argued that since Brown is still not competent, even after being forcefully medicated against his wishes, he shouldn’t be medicated any further.
At 1:30 p.m. court was put into recess. After a one hour break, the defense will continue their cross examination of Dr. Graddy. Then they will call their one witness to the stand.
News 3 will be in the courtroom and will update this article as more information becomes available.
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