HENRICO COUNTY, Va. -- The man accused of beating a woman and then setting her house on fire was arraigned on an attempted murder charge Monday in Henrico County court. Wendyll Troy Brownie, 39, appeared before the judge via video from jail.
Brownie has chosen to hire his own attorney and will remain jailed without bond until his next court appearance on November 7.
It was Friday, October 20, when Henrico firefighters responded to a house fire on New North Avenue in Highland Springs. Inside the home, they found a 78-year-old woman who appeared badly beaten.
Family friends said police told them someone had broken into the home and beat her up while looking for money. The intruder then set the house on fire.
Police arrested Brownie later that same night.
Brown lives next door to the victim.
His family was the court for Monday's arraignment.
Family members said there were two sides to each story, and they felt the coverage of the incident had been unfair. However, they would not elaborate, nor give any more information.
Joan Campbell, who knows the 78-year-old victim well, said says she could not understand why someone would hurt her.
"She was all black and blue, she was swollen and everything," Campbell said. "She looked like someone had beaten her up in a wrestling ring. She never bothered anyone. She’s just a sweet person."
The victim's son said his mother was recovering in the hospital and was expected to be OK.