The three suspects charged in the May 25 murder of Eddie’s Zip Food owner Donald Claude Arnder are now back in Surry County awaiting trial.
In early June, Mount Airy Police Department officials traveled to Roanoke, Va., to take custody of Emanuel William Foster, 23, of Bluefield, W.Va., and transport him to Surry County, where he was served with warrants charging him with murder, attempted armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.
Foster was taken into custody at the Roanoke City Jail where he was transported after being treated for several days at a Roanoke hospital. He was recovering from gunshot wounds allegedly sustained during the Mount Airy robbery.
Since that time, he has been held in the Surry County Jail without bond.
On July 20, Joshua Robert Berry, 28, was brought back to Surry County and charged with murder, attempted armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.
Berry was taken into custody in Bland, Va., at what police described as a trailer/camper about a half mile up Dry Fork Road after several days on the run from police from multiple states.
He also is being held in the Surry County Jail without bond.
Berry’s wife, Sarah Lynn Looney, aka Sarah Berry, 24, also of Bluefield, turned herself into the Bluefield Police Department the day after the Arnder murder.
She was taken into custody by Mount Airy police in Tazewell, Va., last week and transported to Surry County.
She has been charged with murder, conspiracy to commit armed robbery and accessory after the fact to murder.
All three suspects have a court date scheduled for Oct. 24, according to court officials.
More Serious Charges Take Precedent
The three defendants are believed by police to have been involved in a “multi-state crime spree,” including robberies in Virginia, West Virginia, North Carolina and Florida.
Berry and Looney also are facing charges related to the robbery of a movie theater in Bland, Va., and all three suspects have been charged with the robbery of a movie theater and a convenience store in Wytheville, Va.
In addition, Berry is a suspect in the April 19 and May 13 robberies of a movie theater in Bluefield.
The state of Florida also is seeking to have Berry extradited to answer for alleged armed robberies committed in that state.
Earlier this year, it was unclear whether the three suspects would be returned to Surry County to answer for their alleged crimes since so many jurisdictions were wanting them for crimes committed in their areas.
But state police investigators in Virginia who assisted in the multi-state investigation said that while it’s not always the case, often the more serious charges take priority.
At the time of his arrest, Berry had outstanding warrants from the Wytheville, Va., Police Department charging him with larceny, kidnapping, weapon possession, robbery, possession of burglary tools, and pick-pocketing, according to a written statement issued by the Virginia State Police.
The Washington County, Va., Sheriff’s Office has charged him with “several counts of robbery, firearm possession, kidnapping and weapon offenses,” the Virginia State Police said, and a circuit court violation of probation order has been issued in Brevard County, Fla., against Joshua Berry, on charges related to a previous armed robbery conviction.
Despite these charges, Berry chose not to fight extradition to North Carolina to answer for his alleged crimes, instead telling a Bland County, Va., judge that North Carolina could “come get me,” when told he was facing murder charges in Surry County.
Reach Keith Strange at email@example.com or 719-1929.