Man, 25, assaults 75 year old

Published 11:10 am Wednesday, November 7, 2018

Devonta Montrel Berkley, 25, of Meherrin, was convicted recently in Lunenburg Circuit Court of the felony of Unlawful Wounding as a result of repeatedly striking a 75-year-old man in the face and head with his fist, according to a release from the Lunenburg County Commonwealth’s Attorney Office.

According to Commonwealth’s Attorney Robert Clement, on July 15, Berkley confronted the elderly man at the gas pumps at Whistle Stop Convenience Store in Meherrin “because he was angry at the man for allegedly stating to others that Berkley had stolen property from his home.”

According to the victim and an eyewitness at the scene, Berkley reached through the passenger side window of the victim’s pickup truck and struck him. He then came around to the driver’s side and opened the door. The victim attempted to push him away, but Berkley hit him repeatedly in the face and head until he fell to the ground, the release cited. Berkley continued to hit him until the eyewitness was able to get to them and pull him off, according to the release.

The victim was bleeding profusely as a result of a fractured nose. He also suffered a cut to his left eyelid and facial contusions, according to the release.

On Oct. 30, Berkley entered his guilty plea and was sentenced by Judge Anderson Nelson to an active sentence of 12 months in jail with an additional four years suspended subject to conditions of good behavior for five years, supervised probation, warrantless searches, no contact with the victim or his immediate family, and anger management counseling.

The sentence exceeded the recommendation of the Sentencing Guidelines, according to the release.

Berkley had no prior criminal convictions, although he had been arrested in 2016 and 2017 for Assault and Battery of a Family Member in Prince Edward County with one charge dismissed after two years and one charge dropped.