Mount Airy burglars sentenced to prison


First Posted: 6/15/2009

ABINGDON, Va. An afternoon crime spree in two neighboring Virginia counties has led to federal prison sentences for four Mount Airy men.
The group, including three brothers William Lloyd Music, 24; Christopher Ryan Music, 21; and James Russell Music, 20; along with Corey Keith Smith, 20 were charged with numerous violations in Patrick and Carroll counties last August before their arrests.
Authorities said the Mount Airy men set out to find homes to break into by knocking on doors in the two counties, targeting ones that were unoccupied. They initially entered three residences in the Claudville and Ararat communities, taking guns, ammunition, money, jewelry and other property valued at about $10,000 altogether.
After hitting the Patrick locations, the four journeyed to the Dugspur community of Carroll County and were confronted by David Branscome Jr. as they stole guns, television sets, DVDs and other property from his home. Branscome was fired at by the suspects as he tried to block their Ford Explorer with his car, but was not injured.
That incident triggered a high-speed chase by officers in Carroll that led from Hillsville onto Interstate 77 and ended when they ditched the Explorer near Fancy Gap. Police vehicles were rammed during the chase.
All four suspects were in custody by the next morning after a massive, 16-hour search involving officers from several area law enforcement agencies. In addition to local authorities and the Virginia State Police, the case was investigated by the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives.
Officials opted to have the case tried in U.S. District Court in Abingdon, where the four pleaded guilty in March and were sentenced earlier this month.
William Lloyd Music, the final individual taken into custody after eluding authorities for an entire night, drew the stiffest sentence, 15 years and eight months, along with Smith, who received an identical term. William Music had pleaded guilty to discharging a firearm during a crime of violence, and Smith to charges of possession of stolen firearms, conspiracy to possess stolen firearms and possession of firearms after being convicted of a felony.
James and Christopher Music each pleaded guilty to possession of stolen firearms and conspiracy to possess stolen firearms and received sentences of seven years and three months and five years and three months, respectively.
The defendants also will be on probation for three years after they are released from prison and must pay $2,554 in restitution to the crime victims, the court ordered.

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