Navy vet charged in federal court in connection with kidnapping, death of Ashanti Billie

Eric Brown (Southside Daily file photo/ Courtesy of Virginia Beach Sheriff’s Office)

A federal grand jury returned an indictment Wednesday charging Navy veteran Eric Brian Brown with kidnapping resulting in the death of Ashanti M. Billie, a 19-year-old Virginia Beach college student.

According to allegations in the indictment, Brown, 46, abducted Billie in September 2017 on the Joint Expeditionary Base Little Creek-Fort Story.

Brown then took Billie against her will and across state lines from Virginia to North Carolina. Billie died as a result of the kidnapping, prosecutors said.

If convicted of kidnapping resulting in death, Brown faces a maximum penalty of death and a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison.

Brown is also charged with assault resulting in serious bodily injury and theft. If convicted of those two offenses, he faces a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison.


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John Mangalonzo ( is the managing editor of Local Voice Media’s Virginia papers – WYDaily (Williamsburg), Southside Daily (Virginia Beach) and HNNDaily (Hampton-Newport News). Before coming to Local Voice, John was the senior content editor of The Bellingham Herald, a McClatchy newspaper in Washington state. Previously, he served as city editor/content strategist for USA Today Network newsrooms in St. George and Cedar City, Utah. John started his professional journalism career shortly after graduating from Lyceum of The Philippines University in 1990. As a rookie reporter for a national newspaper in Manila that year, John was assigned to cover four of the most dangerous cities in Metro Manila. Later that year, John was transferred to cover the Philippine National Police and Armed Forces of the Philippines. He spent the latter part of 1990 to early 1992 embedded with troopers in the southern Philippines as they fought with communist rebels and Muslim extremists. His U.S. journalism career includes reporting and editing stints for newspapers and other media outlets in New York City, California, Texas, Iowa, Utah, Colorado and Washington state.