James Brown’s oldest daughter pleaded guilty Wednesday to felony theft by taking, a charge that stemmed from a July incident that left her former employer injured.
Superior Court Judge Michael Annis sentenced Venisha Brown, 47, to five years, two of which will be served in confinement. Assistant District Attorney Justin Jones said Brown will be given credit for time served in the Richmond County jail and will be evaluated for a state Department of Corrections substance abuse program. If she completes that program, she might be eligible for release before serving two years, he said.
Brown admitted to taking a Chevrolet Suburban from her employer, St. Stephen’s Ministries on Greene Street, on July 22. The next day, police say, Brown’s boss, Hope Ellis Campbell, spotted Brown in the sport utility vehicle outside a bank in North Augusta and tried to take the keys from the ignition. Campbell told officers that as she reached into the vehicle, Brown accelerated, dragging Campbell over the hood of a vehicle parked nearby.
The vehicle was recovered July 24 at 13th Street and Walton Way, and Brown was arrested later the same day when deputies found her arguing with another woman on Broad Street.
Authorities said Campbell was seriously injured in the incident. As part of the plea agreement, Brown was ordered to have no contact with her former boss.
Although the guilty plea settles the Georgia charge, Brown still faces charges in Aiken County, including possession of a stolen vehicle, leaving the scene of an accident and first-degree assault and battery.
Brown’s attorney Louis Levenson, said Wednesday that the plea and sentencing clear the way for South Carolina authorities to seek Brown’s extradition to face charges there.