Federal authorities and attorneys now know whether medical experts believe the Navy veteran accused of abducting and murdering Ashanti Billie is mentally competent to stand trial. That information is not being made public yet.
According to court records, the forensic psychologist from a federal medical center has completed the report on Eric Brown’s mental health evaluation.
The court received the report last week. It is sealed, so we don’t know what it says at this point about whether or not examiners believe Brown can assist in his own defense and stand trial.
The 45-year-old is facing a federal kidnapping charge, after authorities said he abducted Ashanti Billie from J.E.B Little Creek in September. She was later found dead in Charlotte, North Carolina.
In the most recent filing, the court issued an order asking both federal prosecutors and Brown’s defense team to give reasons why the court should not go along with the recommendations of the forensic psychologist. Those responses have been sealed as well, which leaves no details as to how attorneys believe the case should proceed.
Previously filed documents revealed the government believes there is reasonable cause to think Brown may not be competent to stand trial.
In December, Brown was moved to the Federal Medical Center in Kentucky, so he could be examined by a specialist. The warden there requested more time for that evaluation and just returned the report on it last week.
At this point, it is unclear what action the court has taken since reviewing that report and when the court is going to proceed in this case publicly.
13News Now reached out to the U.S. Attorney’s office for information on its position. A spokesperson said he can’t comment on any filings they may or may not have filed under seal, but added they are continuing to move forward with this case.
We also got in touch with Brown’s defense attorneys. They also told us because the filings are sealed, they can’t provide any information.