Man charged in April shooting of city woman

By Tom Joyce -
Nelson -

A felony assault charge has been filed against a Mount Airy man stemming from a late-April shooting of a local woman who showed up at a Virginia hospital bleeding from a serious neck wound.

Anthony Darrell Nelson, 50, of 158 Ridge Road, is accused of assault with a deadly weapon, inflicting serious bodily injury. The charge was issued by Mount Airy police.

Nelson initially was held in the Surry County Jail under a $50,000 secured bond, and posted bond on Monday to allow his release, a jail spokesman said today.

He is charged with shooting Betty Lynn Brasher, 54, of Mount Airy, who despite being treated at a hospital in Abingdon, Virginia, was actually found to have been wounded here, at the Surry Plaza shopping center. It is located on West Pine Street, where the occupants include a Food Lion store.

The exact relationship between Brasher and Nelson is unclear. “I would just say they were acquaintances,” city Police Chief Dale Watson said Thursday.

“We think it happened on the 23rd (of April),” Watson added of Brasher’s shooting with a revolver, which resulted in a wound to the side of her neck.

“It was a very serious injury and it could have very easily ended up being fatal.”

Brasher subsequently showed up at Johnston Memorial Hospital in Abingdon, after being brought there from Mount Airy more than 100 miles away.

The woman was found wrapped and bloody in a blanket outside the hospital, according to a media report in Virginia.

“She evidently was dropped off at the hospital,” Watson said. “We do not have any explanation as to why she ended up in Abingdon.”

A security guard at the hospital contacted authorities in that city when Brasher was taken into the emergency room.

Once the injured woman was able to be interviewed by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office, the link to Mount Airy was established.

“We investigated the incident, at that point in time where the person (Brasher) was able to give us a better explanation of what had happened,” Sheriff Fred Newman said.

“Based on the information provided by the person, we determined the incident did not occur in our jurisdiction, so we provided the information to the Mount Airy police.”

After talking with Brasher once she returned to Mount Airy, city police issued the assault charge against Nelson.

Nelson spent seven months in an Alleghany County prison in 2000 after being convicted of five drug-related felonies, including possession with intent to sell Schedule II and VI drugs and maintaining a drug dwelling.

From 1987 to 1993, he spent five and a half years in jail for felony breaking and entering and larceny convictions.

Editor John Peters contributed material for this report.


By Tom Joyce

Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.

Tom Joyce may be reached at 336-415-4693 or on Twitter @Me_Reporter.