Family of slain Hanover woman believes abusive relationship led to her killing: ‘a life taken way too early’

Henrico County

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. (WRIC)– The family of a Hanover woman who was shot and killed earlier this week, believes domestic violence could have been a factor in her death.

On Tuesday, May 11, officers arrived on the scene of a shooting near the 7600 block of Beth Road and found a woman dead. The scene was located at the Abbington West Apartments. The victim was later identified as 18-year-old Brittney J. Peyton of Hanover county.

This is now a nightmare for Peyton’s family. Peyton’s brother, Louisa County resident Randy Peyton, later found out this his younger sister was gone.

He calls the killing of his sister, “a life taken way too early.’

Mr. Peyton describes his sister as beautiful, kind, intelligent and a ‘raging bull.’ He told 8News, he had just driven down to Henrico County to pick up his sister and take her to lunch a few weeks ago.

“It’s still hard to believe to this day. I just want to wake up and think that it was all a dream,” said Peyton’s brother.

On Wednesday, May 13, Henrico County Police arrested 18-year-old Benjamin A. Newton. Newton faces several charges including involuntary manslaughter and shooting in an occupied building. He had additional outstanding warrants that were served as well.

According to Mr. Peyton, his sister and Newton had been in a relationship for a little over a year and the two were living together. He said his sister told him that she was being physically abused. He told 8News, that his sister also suffered a miscarriage.

Family members of Peyton feared a tragedy like this could have happened.

“I’ve tried to stop it, but when your sister talks you out of it, it’s no longer about what he’s done. It’s more or less for her,” he said. “I highly encourage people who are having domestic problems to stay away from each other. I just encourage anybody that’s having problems with domestic violence to do your best to solve them. Life’s too short to be holding grudges and arguing.”

The Peyton family continues to try to cope with a heartbreaking loss.

“We all know now that she’s now watching over us and protecting us. We know she’s on our side no matter what. We just have to take what we got and cherish the moments that we have, because we’re here today but not promised tomorrow,” Peyton’s brother said.

Newton currently is being held in jail without bond. According to Henrico County Police, the department is not looking for any other suspects at this time.

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