Drewryville woman sentenced in abuse case

Published 11:24 am Wednesday, November 14, 2018

The Drewryville woman originally arrested on a first-degree murder charge of a Suffolk woman in her care in 2016 has been sentenced to 20 years, with 12 suspended. The Virginia Courts Case website shows that the prosecuted charge was for the abuse of an incapacitated adult, resulting in the person’s death. The Southampton County Clerk’s office confirmed that decision, which was made on Tuesday.

Keshia Nicole Freeman, 38, of Old Belfield Road, had originally pleaded not guilty at her arraignment on Nov. 3, 2016. But on Nov. 6 this year, Freeman changed that to guilty.

In addition to the prison term, she was ordered to pay $478 in costs, and will have 10 years of supervised probation, which begins on her release. The clerk’s office also confirmed that the first-degree murder charged was not prosecuted.

The Tidewater News had reported on Aug. 31, 2016, that homicide was listed in the autopsy on Shaquille Hall, who was found dead on March 2. The cause was attributed to “blunt force trauma to the abdomen with contributing causes of diphenhydramine overdose, dehydration, starvation and battery,” according to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, which had performed the autopsy.

First responders had gotten a call at 1:10 p.m. of an autistic child who had reportedly become unresponsive. On arrival, the sheriff’s deputies and emergency services personnel discovered that the child was Hall, who was 23 years old. They discovered she suffered from cerebral palsy, not autism, and Capron Rescue personnel pronounced her dead at 1:41 p.m.

Lt. Camden Cobb, a spokesman for the Southampton County Sheriff’s Office, said later in September 2016 that the woman had been in the care of Medicaid-provided aide at the time of her death, and that she had not been in the care of her family for at least the five weeks prior to her death.