‘Beefy’ Brown not guilty of murder in cop’s death
Sixteen months after he was arrested in a Briarwood townhouse for the crime, yesterday Douglas Michael "Beefy" Brown Jr. was found not guilty of murder in Colonial Heights Circuit Court for his role in the death of a police officer, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. On August 12, 2006, Chesterfield County police were in a 110mph pursuit of the Barboursville man when one police cruiser crashed into the car of off-duty Colonial Heights police Lt. James Sears. Judge Herbert C. Gill decided to convict Brown of involuntary manslaughter, saying that however tragic Sears' death was, it was not a direct result of Brown's reckless driving, and it was "merely a coincidence." Gill also found Brown guilty of felony counts of eluding police, hit-and-run driving, and being a habitual traffic offender, all of which add up to a maximum of 30 years in prison.
Brown is familiar to local law enforcement. In 2003, while in Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail awaiting trial on charges of methadone possession and grand larceny, Brown attempted to stab a corrections officer through his cell bars with the axle he had broken off a restraining chair. According to the incident report, he subsequently threw urine, feces and other pieces of the chair at the officer.
On March 22, 2003, with the additional charge of assault of a law enforcement officer, visiting judge David Berry sentenced Brown to 16 years, with all but 3-1/2 years suspended, plus two years' probation.
Brown walked on May 18, 2005, only to be back in court on April 5, 2006 for violating his probation and for possession of marijuana and cocaine. But instead of reinstating Brown's suspended sentence, then-presiding judge Paul "Mac" Peatross revoked 12 years of the suspended sentence, suspended the remaining six months, and ordered Brown to the Boxwood Rehabilitation Center in Culpeper.
On June 13, 2006, two days after completing the two-week program at Boxwood, Brown reported to his probation officer. This was the last Albemarle authorities heard from Brown, as he missed his next three probation meetings, the last scheduled for August 9, three days before his chase with Chesterfield police.
Brown's sentencing is scheduled for Tuesday, March 11.