Judge denies bond for armed robbery suspect in Lynchburg

Judge denies bond for armed robbery suspect in Lynchburg

Bond was denied Friday for a Pamplin man accused of breaking into a Lynchburg man’s house while armed.

Jason Jerome Berkley, 30, was arrested as one of a group of suspects police said broke into the man’s house on C Street in the lower Rivermont area Oct. 27.

During the home invasion, the victim was held at gunpoint, punched up to 30 times and tied down before the suspects left, taking items including cash and a television, prosecutors said.

Police had to track down Berkley even after he confessed by phone during the investigation, eventually finding him at a house in Madison Heights, according to Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Chuck Felmlee.

Berkley faces multiple felony charges tied to the incident, including armed burglary, two counts of robbery, abduction by force or intimidation and two counts of using a firearm in commission of a felony.

Also charged with alleged roles in the home invasion are Suntrese R. Wheeler, 29, and Derrick L. Campbell, 36. They were arrested Nov. 21, but Berkley was not located until more than a week later.

Felmlee said in Lynchburg District Court on Friday the robbery was a setup by the three suspects, and Berkley was the one carrying the gun. All three are being held without bond at the Blue Ridge Regional Jail.

Defense lawyer Michael Lovell argued in favor of bond release for Berkley, emphasizing his family has local ties and he could stay with relatives while awaiting trial. Several of those relatives were in the courtroom, he said.

Felmlee argued, given the nature of the charges, Berkley presented a danger to the community and an extreme flight risk considering the prison time he could face.

District Judge Randy Krantz said a combination of factors in the allegations against Berkley called for denying bond.

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