Mentally ill man drowns sister in inflatable pool by sitting on her head after argument over prescription meds
The Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office had received around six calls from the home of Angie A Walls over the last year regarding her brother Ashton Dunlap Berry
A mentally ill man allegedly killed his sister by holding her head under water and drowning her in their inflatable pool following an argument over prescription medication in Virginia on September 1.
51-year-old Ashton Dunlap Berry, who family members say suffers from a mental illness, was charged with first-degree murder on September 1. The Fauquier sheriff's office identified the victim as 53-year-old Angie A Walls who lived on Riley Road, Fauquier County, Virgina, according to Fauquier Now.
According to Sgt. James Hartman, Angie and her boyfriend Fred Dove lived at the house that they purchased in the year 2016 with her brother Ashton. As per the September 1 search warrant affidavit, Ashton and Angie had an argument over Ashton's prescribed medication. The document suggests that investigators removed three kinds of pills from the home including oxycodone — a very addictive painkiller.
According to the warrant, Ashton told the officers that the argument started when they were at a table on the home's deck and Angie reportedly threw his diet coke off the deck. He also accused his sister of “grabbing his Super Big Gulp cup”. He admitted to shoving her head underwater in the children's pool near the deck which was around 2ft deep and said that he "held it under the water until she was unresponsive".
After this, Ashton went inside the home where he remained "for a while" and then returned to the deck. He then discovered that his sister "was moving" and put her head back in the children’s pool. This time, "he held her under water by sitting on her head until she was unresponsive again," the warrant read. Angie's body was later discovered by her boyfriend Fred who immediately called 9-1-1.
Sgt. Hartman said, "At 2:30 pm, deputies answered a 9-1-1 call for an unconscious female in a swimming pool. Deputies arrived at the residence and located the victim, deceased on the rear deck."
Fred's sister Denise has launched a GoFundMe campaign to help cover the funeral costs. She describes Angie as "a selfless person" who only served others. "She was the primary care giver for her father, caregiver of her brother, and helped watch her grandson. It’s unfair to be facing such an unreal nightmare," Denise wrote.
Denise also highlighted the fact that Angie had repeatedly tried to find a home placement for her brother and had said she was fearful for her life but no action was taken by the authorities.
Sgt. Hartman confirmed that, before the incident, the Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office had received around six calls from the home of Angie A Walls over the last year.
"Angie was actively trying to get home placement for her brother, but would not get the support she needed from our mental health system. It was constantly pushed back on her, even after voicing multiple times that she was fearful for her life. This was voiced over several months, yet our system continued to decide he should stay in her home. Being the good person she is, she continued to provide care for him as she couldn’t let him become homeless," Denise said.
"This was 100% preventable had the system listened to what she was begging for. It’s unimaginable that this is the reality we are facing. Angie needs the justice she deserves. Angie was taken from us all way too soon. Any help with the funeral expenses would be greatly appreciated. I want to personally thank all of you for your prayers and condolences as they mean so much to Fred, Alesia, and Charlie," the page read.
Ashton is currently in the Fauquier County Adult Detention Center and is being held without bond. Judge Mellisa N Cupp arranged a "status" hearing on the case for November 5. Ashton will have a psychological evaluation performed after which the defendant will have a chance to get legal representation.
Sgt. Hartman said that the investigation is still continuing but the authorities do not have any reason to think that there was anyone else involved in the case.