Lawrenceville community furious after family considers moving babies’ grave

Posted at 8:37 PM, Mar 27, 2015
and last updated 2015-03-27 20:42:11-04

LAWRENCEVILLE, Va. -- A day after Darnesha Berry's mother testified the family was considering moving the twins grave closer to the Richmond area, some in the community are already mounting a defense.

"If there's any legal way to stop it, and I can, I will try as hard as I can, to stop it," said Benny "Red" Newcomb.

In 1998, Newcomb helped investigate the death of twins, whose bodies were found in a trash chute at St. Paul's College. He is also the one who transported the bodies and evidence to the state morgue and state lab.

 Benny "Red" Newcomb.

Benny "Red" Newcomb.

When the morgue finished with the twins, the state was going to dispose of the bodies, but Newcomb got permission to bring them back to Lawrenceville.

Once there, several funeral homes and the community rallied to have a proper funeral service for the newborn twins.

Now 17 years later, a trial and DNA has helped to identify the mother.

Darnesha Berry

Darnesha Berry

Darnesha Berry was found guilty of two counts of involuntary manslaughter and two counts of child abuse, with the jury recommending eight years in prison and a $50,000 fine.

It was during sentencing that Berry's mother said the family had named the twins and were considering moving their grave.

That statement has upset many in the community like Wendy Nash.

"Those children were born here, they were laid to rest here and they are at peace here," Nash said. "That's where they need to be is here."

And Nash is not alone in that sentiment.

"If it's legal they could do that, I think that the citizens of Brunswick County should do what they can to keep them here," Leslie Weddington said.