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Sheriff's Office

Posted on: February 15, 2018

Second Behavioral Healthcare Center Employee Charged with Involuntary Manslaughter


February 15, 2018


Kraig Troxell, Media Relations & Communications Manager, 703-771-5278

[email protected]

Alex Kowalski, Public Information Officer, 703-777-0625

[email protected]



Loudoun County, VA- A nurse at a behavioral healthcare center near Leesburg has been charged in connection with the death of a juvenile patient at the facility.  

Melanie A. Lewis, 47, of Stephens City, Va., was indicted on February 8 on charges of involuntary manslaughter in connection with the death of a 15-year-old victim from Norfolk, Va., at North Spring Behavioral Healthcare.

This is the second indictment of an employee at the facility in connection with the teenager’s death. In January, William P. Herndon, 47, of Martinsburg, WV, was indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter.

The Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office responded to the facility on November 19, 2017, for an assist rescue call. A juvenile male was reportedly unresponsive and not breathing. The teenager was taken to a local hospital where he passed away. 

An investigation conducted by the Loudoun County Sheriff’s Office in coordination with the Office of the Medical Examiner and the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney, found the victim lost his life after being restrained by Herndon, a mental health technician at the facility. Further investigation determined Lewis, a registered nurse at the facility, failed to intervene when the restraint was incorrectly administered. The name of the juvenile victim has not been released in accordance with the applicable state code.  

The subsequent investigation, to include the results of an autopsy performed by the Office of the Medical Examiner, concluded the victim died from positional asphyxiation. 

Lewis was taken into custody on February 15 and was held at the Loudoun County Adult Detention Center on no bond.


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