Christopher Edmonds Enters Guilty Plea

   Written by on September 14, 2017 at 10:58 am

Edmonds pleads guiltyLUNENBURG – About 60 prospective jurors showed up at Lunenburg Circuit Court on Tuesday, September 12th waiting to go through the selection process for a jury involving a home invasion and robbery trial for a 27-year-old Lunenburg County man.

Christopher Dale Edmonds, age 27, decided at the last minute to plead guilty and let the Circuit Court judge sentence him.

Edmonds entered his guilty pleas to Armed Robbery, Entering a Dwelling in the Nighttime with a Weapon, and Possession of a Firearm by a Violent Felon.  A presentence report was ordered and is returnable November 28, 2017 for sentencing.

According to Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Clement, the convictions arose from an incident on October 22, 2015 at 1657 Kings Road in Lunenburg at approximately 8:30 p.m. The victims identified Edmonds, even though he covered his face, recognizing his voice, his build, and at one point seeing part of his face when his kerchief fell down.  The male victim had known Edmonds since they were kids.  In addition, Edmonds had just surprised them with an unannounced visit about two hours before the robbery and tried to sell them a handgun.

Sgt. Adam Martin obtained arrest warrants immediately, but Edmonds could not be found until more than a year later in Chesterfield County at his girlfriend’s residence in January 2017.

According to Clement, the testimony of the victims would have revealed that during the defendant’s first visit that evening, the three of them just carried on conversations like friends do.  At some point, he asked them how they were doing, and the male victim said they had been working and saved up enough money to finally rent a place of their own. They had saved up about $1500 for the security deposit, the first month’s rent, and the other deposits like electricity and water that were necessary.  They kept the money in a lock box in the bedroom.

They said that the defendant asked them if they wanted to buy a .22 revolver from him, but they declined, stating they had to use the money for when they moved.

The defendant asked if he could get something to drink, and went into the kitchen.  The couple thought it was odd that it was taking him a little more time than necessary to get something to drink, but when they were ready to check on him, he appeared back in the room.

There was a door beyond the kitchen in the laundry room that leads from the side of the house, which was never used, it was always locked. At the end of the robbery later, they discovered that the door had been unlocked.

The defendant then left, and said he was going home to Richmond.

About two hours later, when it was dark, the victim heard a noise and as the husband stood up, their bedroom door was kicked in and there stood a man with a gun at the husband’s face yelling to give him the safe.

The man wore a hoodie that was pulled up, had sunglasses on, and a bandanna around his face.

The husband and wife were prepared to testify that they immediately knew who it was by his voice and his build.   After demanding the money from the husband, the defendant then put the gun on the wife and said, “I will kill this bitch.”

They say at one point the bandanna slipped down to his mouth and they could see his face that was exposed, which also confirmed it was the defendant.

The defendant took the lockbox and the money as well as the key to the lockbox.

At this point they both sat on the bed and the husband tried to hide his wife’s cell phone under his leg, however, the defendant noticed and took it.

The defendant then demanded that they get up and walk outside. The defendant walked behind them, got to the front porch and told them to sit down. When they sat down he took off running down the driveway.

  The couple then drove to his mother’s house in Victoria and called the sheriff’s office and the police responded.

Warrants were issued for the arrest of the defendant, but he could not be found until January of this year when was arrested in Chesterfield County where the defendant lived at that time with his girlfriend.

The defendant was interviewed by Sergeant Adam Martin of the Lunenburg County Sheriff’s Office.

The defendant denied even being in Lunenburg County.  He said that at least a week or so prior to the incident of October 22, he had quit his job at Virginia Marble and had not been back to Lunenburg at all.

The defendant gave notice through his attorney that he plans to provide an alibi defense to show that he was not present in Lunenburg County.

The Commonwealth’s Attorney obtained a copy of the defendant’s last payroll check from Virginia Marble which was dated October 22nd and which showed that he cashed it at the Food Lion in Victoria on October 22, 2015.

The Commonwealth’s Attorney also obtained the telephone calls made by the defendant from Piedmont Regional Jail.  The jail records every phone call made by the inmates, and every call has a clear announcement at the beginning that the calls are being recorded.  These calls are therefore considered legally obtained and admissible in court to be used against the defendant.

Clement said he and his secretarial staff listened to more than 500 calls seeking incriminating statements to disprove the alibi that the defendant was in Chesterfield with his girlfriend and others when the robbery occurred and to perhaps find incriminating statements about the robbery.  The search proved successful, said Clement.

(1) In one of the calls the defendant is talking with his girlfriend who is saying that he was with her the night of the robbery. The defendant clearly says as a correction to her, “But you know I was down there that day though.  I went picked up my check.”  He admits that he went to Lunenburg to get his last payroll check that his sister had picked up for him that day. His girlfriend then tried to get him to agree that he came back to Chesterfield County early that evening and was with them, and he reminded her that he didn’t get in to her house until the next morning. So, he was gone from her during the time of the robbery and even into the next morning.

(2) The most important phone call, said Clement, was one in which his girlfriend is talking about whether there would be any text messages on the defendant’s phone or the phone of the victim that would incriminate him as having had contact with them that day. The defendant (referred to as “Dale”) has the following conversation with his girlfriend:

Conversation #60

February 18, 2017

Dale:  I can’t remember if I texted him that day, you know what I’m saying?

Nina:  Huh?

Dale:  I said I can’t remember if I texted his phone that day, but I know I took his phone from him anyway, you know what I’m saying?

Nina:  Yeah, he ain’t going to have that phone, he ain’t going to have that phone just like you ain’t got the phone that you had.

Dale:  Oh, I took his phone from him, I made sure he didn’t have the phone, you feel me?  But I ain’t going to tell the Lawyer all that s***, you know what I’m saying?    

(3)  Additional telephone calls reveal different conversations in which the defendant is telling his girlfriend and another friend of his to offer to pay anywhere from $500-$1000 to the male victim not to come to court and not to testify against him.

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