Edmonds guilty in robbery

Published 9:00 am Wednesday, September 13, 2017

A 27-year-old Lunenburg County man pled guilty in Lunenburg County Circuit Court to armed robbery, entering a dwelling at nighttime with a weapon and possession of a firearm by a violent felon in connection to an incident that occurred in Oct. 2015.

According to Lunenburg County Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Clement, Christopher Dale Edmonds pled guilty and allowed the a circuit court judge sentence him prior to a jury trial. Clement said a presentence report was

ordered and is returning to court Nov. 28 for sentencing.

According to Robert Clement, the convictions stem from an incident on Oct. 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,” Clement said. “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.”

Clement said arrest warrants were obtained immediately for Edmonds, but he was not found until more than a year later in Chesterfield County at his girlfriend’s home in January.

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 as 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,” Clement said. “They had saved up about $1,500 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 the lock box in the bedroom.”

According to Clement, the couple said Edmonds 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,” Clement said. “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.”

Clement cited there was a door beyond the kitchen in the laundry room that leads from the side of the house, which was never used and is 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,” Clement said. “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.”
Clement said 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,” Clement said. “After demanding the money from the husband, the defendant then put the gun on the wife and said,‘I will kill this (woman).’”
According to Clement, the couple said at one point the bandanna slipped down to his mouth and they could see his face that was exposed, which also confirmed to them it was Edmonds. 
“The defendant took the lockbox and the money as well as the key to the lockbox,” Clement said. “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.”
According to Clement, 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,” Clement said. “When they sat down he took off running down the driveway.”
Clement said the couple then drove to his mother’s house in Victoria and called the sheriff’s office and the police responded.
The defendant was interviewed by Sgt. Adam Martin of the Lunenburg County Sheriff’s Office.
“The defendant denied even being in Lunenburg County,” Clement said. “He said that at least a week or so prior to the incident of Oct. 22, (2015), 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,” Clement said.

Clement said he 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,” Clement said. “These calls are therefore considered legally obtained and admissible in court to be used against the defendant.”
Clement said he and his 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.
The calls included Edmonds clarifying to his girlfriend that he was in Lunenburg the day of the robbery, talking to his girlfriend and another friend about offering the male victim up to $1,000 to not come to court to testify and another call where Edmonds was talking about whether he had contacted the male victim the day of the robbery.