VCU security guard faces 2 years in prison after pharmacy death

Published: Mar. 25, 2016 at 7:28 PM EDT|Updated: Apr. 4, 2016 at 9:23 PM EDT
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Philip Whitaker and his wife Karen Ann, who was killed in a 2013 tractor trailer crash....
Philip Whitaker and his wife Karen Ann, who was killed in a 2013 tractor trailer crash. (Credit: Family Photo)

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The VCU security guard convicted in the death of a man at a pharmacy faces two years in prison.

67-year-old former Marine George Brown was sentenced to 10 years, with eight suspended. He is currently out on bond pending appeal.

Brown was convicted in the death of Philip Whitaker, who died after witnesses say Brown threw Whitaker to the ground during a dispute at a VCU pharmacy.

"I saw [the security guard] grab him and throw him," said eyewitness Vickie Fields. "I said, 'Oh my gosh,' and then I saw blood and I said, 'He's hurt bad.'"

Witnesses say the situation was so drastic, staff members asked some customers to leave that section of the pharmacy. Whitaker was taken to the hospital with what Richmond Police describe as a serious head injury. He died just two days later.

The defense argued Whitaker lost his balance after being "pulled."  Prosecutors reviewed surveillance video and said Brown should not have used any force, saying Whitaker wasn't aggressive at all.

The family has previously called Brown a "murderer" in court, and they were visibly upset during testimony in Friday's sentencing.

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