“Tell them to come get me,” a defiant Joshua Robert Berry said when a judge in Bland County, Va., noted that he was wanted on murder charges in Mount Airy.
Berry, 28, of Bluefield, W.Va., and his wife, Sarah Lynn Berry, 24, with a reported address of North Tazewell, Va., appeared in the Bland County, Va., General District Court yesterday morning to answer to charges related to an April 13 robbery of the Kangaroo Express in Bland.
Those charges include two counts of robbery, the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and the possession of a firearm by a convicted violent felon.
But it is unclear whether they will be tried on those charges, since they are wanted on more serious allegations in Mount Airy.
The state of North Carolina is seeking to have the pair extradited to answer to charges that they murdered Donald Claude Arnder, 58, on May 25 during a botched armed robbery attempt. Florida also is seeking extradition for Berry in relation to an armed robbery charge.
Police believe the pair were involved in a “multi-state crime spree” that spanned a period of several months.
The day after they allegedly committed the murder, Sarah Berry, also known as Sarah Looney, turned herself in to police in Bluefield, W.Va.
Her husband, Joshua Berry, was a fugitive from justice for several days following the murder, and police from at least three states and the U.S. Marshal’s Service were looking for him before he was taken into custody last Saturday in Bland County, near the West Virginia border.
A third suspect, Emanuel William Foster, 23, was reportedly shot in the chest during the botched robbery attempt, and is now in the Surry County Regional Jail after several days under police guard at a hospital in Roanoke, Va.
“Y’all will regret this circus…”
Both Berry and his wife showed little remorse during their court appearance, according to Mike Rigsby, news director for WVVA-TV in Bluefield.
Rigsby said that Berry was “acting very confident” as he was taken from a jail transport van under heavy armed guard for his court appearance.
“He said ‘y’all will regret this circus act you’re putting on me’ when he was being led into court,” Rigsby said.
Once in the courtroom, Berry and his wife were placed in separate holding cells, where they could be heard professing their love for one another, Rigsby said.
“They were trying to talk to each other between cells,” Rigsby said. “Saying things like ‘I love you’ through the cells.”
Berry has been charged with murder, attempted armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.
His wife has been charged with conspiracy to commit armed robbery and accessory after the fact to murder.
Berry and his wife were denied bond by Chief Judge Gino Williams, and were each given a court-appointed public defender.
On his way out of the courthouse, Berry, still defiant, told reporters he did not wish to speak, using profanity in his choice of words. Sarah Berry had a similar attitude, also hurling profanity at reporters.
Reach Keith Strange at email@example.com or 719-1929.