DOBSON — Indictments have been handed down by the Surry County Grand Jury, charging three individuals with the murder of a Mount Airy convenience store owner.
Donald Claude Arnder was killed during a botched armed robbery attempt of Eddie’s Zip Food on May 25.
While the specific charges held in the indictment are still unknown, Joshua Robert Berry, 28, of Bluefield, W.Va.; Emanual William Foster, 23, also of Bluefield, and Sarah Lynn Looney, also known as Sarah Berry, 24, of Bluefield, will face judgement for their alleged involvement sometime during the November term of the Surry County Superior Court.
In early June, Mount Airy Police Department officials traveled to Roanoke, Va., to take custody of Foster 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.
After several days on the run eluding police, Joshua Berry was brought back to Surry County and charged with murder, attempted armed robbery and conspiracy to commit armed robbery.
He was ultimately 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, turned herself into the Bluefield Police Department the day after the Arnder shooting.
She was taken into custody by Mount Airy police in Tazewell, Va., in August and transported to Surry County.
She has been charged with murder, conspiracy to commit armed robbery and accessory after the fact to murder.
Like the others suspected in the case, Looney is being held without bond.
Trial Expected In November
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 faced 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., but it is unlikely they will face a jury related to those charges due to the seriousness of the Mount Airy crime.
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.
The trio’s trial dates are yet to be released, but officials with the Surry County Clerk of Courts office say they expect it to be scheduled for sometime in mid-November.
Reach Keith Strange at email@example.com or 719-1929.