Sentencing dates altered in Arnder case

By Tom Joyce -

Sarah Berry

Joshua Berry


Sentencing dates for two of three defendants charged in the 2012 death of Mount Airy store owner Donald Claude Arnder have been changed in federal court in Virginia.

One of them, Sarah Lynn Looney Berry, 28, was scheduled to be sentenced next Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia.

However, that has been pushed backed to Nov. 15, according to federal court records.

Berry’s husband, Joshua Robert Berry, 33, is to be sentenced on the same date.

The third person involved, Emanuel William Foster, 27, is still set to be sentenced on Oct. 13 as originally scheduled.

All three defendants are from the Bluefield, West Virginia, area.

A court spokeswoman said Thursday that their sentencing will occur in the federal courthouse in Abingdon, Virginia, where the trio pleaded guilty to a series of charges earlier this year.

The offenses stem from a crime spree in the spring of 2012 that ended with Arnder, 58, being fatally shot inside Eddie’s Zip Foods on the night of May 25, 2012.

Foster and Berry entered the store, with Joshua Berry carrying a rifle and Foster a handgun, while Sarah Berry waited outside in her vehicle. Joshua Berry has admitted in court that Foster and Arnder, who had a .38-caliber revolver, exchanged gunfire and Foster shot Arnder twice with a 9mm handgun, once in the arm and once in the abdomen. Arnder died at the scene.

During the exchange, Foster was shot once and subsequently hospitalized in Virginia.

Arnder’s slaying touched off a multi-state manhunt involving North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia authorities, leading to the arrest of the three suspects for crimes spanning multiple jurisdictions.

Joshua Robert Berry pleaded guilty in May to two counts of armed robbery, two counts of brandishing a firearm during those armed robberies, one count of conspiring to commit armed robbery and one count of using a firearm in the commission of an armed robbery that resulted in the death of another person (Arnder).

The week before, Foster pleaded guilty to the same charges.

Sarah Berry entered guilty pleas to one count each of conspiring to commit armed robbery and using a firearm in the commission of an armed robbery that resulted in the death of another person.

Foster and Joshua Berry are facing a minimum sentence of 32 years to a maximum of life imprisonment and Sarah Berry 10 years to life.

Local charges

The cases are being handled in federal court due to the interstate nature of the crimes, but state charges are still pending in Surry County against the three.

Joshua Berry and Foster are each charged locally with felony murder and two other felonies, attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon and conspiracy to commit robbery with a dangerous weapon.

Sarah Berry is charged in Surry County with attempted robbery with a dangerous weapon.

The cases involving the three defendants are all calendared for the Dec. 6 session of Surry Superior Court.

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

Sarah Berry Berry

Joshua Berry Berry


By Tom Joyce

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