Ex-security guard at VCU pharmacy sentenced to 2 years for involuntary manslaughter

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RICHMOND, Va. -- A former security guard at the VCU Medical Ambulatory Pharmacy has been sentenced to two years in prison after being convicted of involuntary manslaughter in the death of a patient at the pharmacy in August 2015.

George Brown Jr. was sentenced to 10 years with eight years suspended Friday.

67-year-old former security guard George Brown has been charged for involuntary manslaughter.

67-year-old former security guard George Brown has been sentenced to two years in prison.

Brown was convicted of causing injuries to Phillip Whitaker, 64, after tackling him because he walked to the head of the line at the VCU Medical pharmacy, according prosecutors.

Testimony showed Whitaker had been at the pharmacy for some time, apparently having problems with his prescription. When he heard his name called he was supposed to go to the back of the line, but came to the front, where Brown challenged him then threw him down.

Brown’s defense attorney countered that Whitaker was hostile and lost his balance when Brown pulled him back.

Phillip Whitaker

Phillip Whitaker

Whitaker died from head injuries he suffered during the incident.

During his bench trial, Brown refused to make a plea deal with prosecutors and instead pleaded not guilty. Before convicting him, Judge Marchant said Brown had an exemplary work record.

But in this one case, the judge said, "it was and unwarranted and excessive reaction to a normal breach" of manners.

Brown will remain free on bond pending his appeal.

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