Arnder family: Sentence just, but mistrust of DA lingers

To the Editor,

I believe the Honorable James Jones, United States District Judge, imposed just punishment for Sarah Looney Berry, Joshua Robert Berry, and Emmanuel William Foster on Tuesday, November 15.

I do not believe District Attorney Ricky Bowman’s statement in regards to “the Surry County District Attorney’s office” quietly working with several law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Attorney’s Office since 2012 is accurate. I do believe the Mount Airy Police Department and most importantly Detective Brad Quesinberry were instrumental in their sentencing. We appreciate their diligence and hard work.

I do not believe District Attorney Ricky Bowman ever intended to prosecute the three defendant(s) for killing Donald Arnder on May 25, 2012. He had ample opportunity to prosecute them prior to our meeting with the U. S. Attorney’s Office on July 7, 2015 to discuss their pending prosecution.

In 2010 District Attorney Ricky Bowman was quoted as saying, “While fighting crime and working to ensure the guilty receive justice is most important, I feel that it should not be the sole focus of the district attorney. Helping people might mean sending a thief or a murderer to prison for a long time and that certainly helps the community as a whole, but helping people also means fighting for victims of crime,” (

Unfortunately, we received no help from District Attorney Ricky Bowman.

I’ve attached the statement I read in all three sentencing hearings.

In closing, so people who know Don can see what message he left behind for them, I’d like to include part of his last will and testament.

“As an opening statement, I would like to take this time to say ‘Thanks’ to each of you for making my life a very happy one. We all had many good times together. I am sorry I had to leave you all behind but it was God’s Will. I just hope that at some point in time I did something good for each of you that will be cherished as a good thought toward me. Carry on my friends.

Live each day to the fullest – one day at a time. May God bless you all.”

Tully Welborn

Richmong, Va.

(Arnder family spokesperson)

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