Bennie Taylor

Bennie Ray Taylor Jr.

From staff reports

A Bland County man whose drug trial has been repeatedly delayed because of competency issues is facing a string of new felonies after being accused of burning down his parent’s residence and trying to attack police officers.

Bennie Ray Taylor Jr., 35, of Bastian will be arraigned today on charges of attempting to assault a law enforcement officer (two counts), assaulting a law enforcement officer (two counts), obstructing justice, disorderly conduct and arson.

Taylor was arrested on June 11 after Bland County Sheriff’s Office deputies went to his 3912 Railroad Trail residence to pick him up on an emergency custody order.

In a criminal complaint, Deputy E.V. Milliner said Taylor came outside with a cane/club when they arrived.

“…He stated, ‘I’m just telling y’all, none of y’all better put your f…… hands on me,” Milliner wrote.

Milliner said Taylor swung the club and charged at officers.

“I feared for my life and drew my service weapon,” he wrote, “as did Lt. Col (Jason) Ramsey.”

Milliner said Taylor refused to drop the club and swung it at officers again before sprinting inside the residence and locking the door.

“Once inside the residence, Mr. Taylor set fire to the living room,” Milliner wrote.

Taylor’s father, Bennie Taylor Sr., opened the door for officers who yelled for Bennie Taylor Jr. to come outside.

“At this point, the fire continued to intensify and grown,” Milliner wrote.

Bennie Taylor Jr. eventually left the residence with his club and was tackled to the ground, Milliner said.

“Lt. Col. Ramsey and I used our expandable batons and physical force before finally being able to handcuff him and place him in my patrol vehicle,” Milliner wrote.

Taylor was taken to Wythe County Community Hospital for the ECO and for treatment of smoke inhalation and “use-of-force related injuries,” the deputy wrote.

Owned by Gladys and Bennie Taylor Sr., the residence was completely destroyed in the blaze.

“When I asked why he burned the residence, Mr. Taylor stated because he was upset at his parents for calling law enforcement on him,” the deputy wrote. “He further stated the house was cursed and green eyed demons made him do it.”

Taylor was supposed to appear in Bland County Circuit Court on Tuesday for a review of the court’s efforts to restore him to competency to stand trial on a 2016 charge of manufacturing/etc. drugs.

That hearing, though, was moved until Sept. 9.

Unemployed for five years, Taylor has a criminal history that includes charges of driving revoked, assault and battery of a law enforcement officer, public intoxication, driving while intoxicated, brandishing a firearm, misdemeanor assault, and assault and battery of a family member, according to court records.

He’s being held without bond on the new charges.

Bastian woman arrested after interstate crash

A Bastian woman was arrested on June 8 and charged with driving while intoxicated after crashing her 2011 Subaru on Interstate 77, according to state police.

In a criminal complaint, Trooper R.H. Boyd said 40-year-old Beth Hull Burnette “had a strong odor of an alcoholic beverage about her person,” when he talked to her after the northbound wreck at the 60 mile marker.

“She stated had two drinks, last drink about one hour prior to accident,” the trooper wrote.

Her blood alcohol content was .15 – nearly twice the legal driving limit -- when tested at the Sherriff’s Office, according to the trooper.

On disability, Burnette has no criminal history and was released on a $2,000 bond, according to court records.

She has hired an attorney and has a Sept. 4 trial date set in Bland County General District Court.

Rocky Gap resident charged with reckless driving

A Rocky Gap man was charged with reckless driving and failing to report an accident with property damage after a June 2 crash on Railroad Trail, according to the Bland County Sheriff’s Office.

Dion Christion Bush, 20, was arrested after Deputy J.P. Agee investigated a call about an abandoned car that had crashed through a fence at 1:35 a.m.

In his criminal complaint, Agee said he found a heavily damaged 2015 Mercedes C300 with deployed airbags that had crashed through a fence.

“The vehicle owner/driver was found to be the accused,” Agree wrote. “The accused was not located at the scene upon my arrival.”

Agee said Bush admitted to driving the car when he interviewed Bush at his M.L. Thompson Drive residence.

Bush told the deputy that he wrecked because a deer ran out in front of him.

“He also stated he had hit a deer during the accident,” Agree wrote in his complaint. “I found no evidence of a deer being struck in/on the roadway nor on his vehicle. Also he said it had rained and he couldn’t see. Based on factual weather, there was no precipitation during these hours stated by the on duty deputy who initially responded.”

Bush’s trial date has been set for July 31.

W.Va. man charged with marijuana possession

Derrick Bradley Carr, 30, of Bluefield, West Virginia, was charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession and defective vehicle equipment (headlight out) on June 5 on northbound I-77 at Exit 52.

Deputy E.V. Milliner placed the charges.

Carr’s court date is July 17.

Michigan resident charged with DWI on interstate

Found lying beside his stopped car on the interstate, a Michigan man was charged with driving while intoxicated after telling officers that the pulled over because he knew he was too drunk to drive, according to a criminal complaint.

Edward J. Peckinpaugh, 49, of Hazel Park was charged with second offense DWI after Deputy E.V. Milliner and a state trooper responded to a report that a vehicle was stopped at the 50 mile marker with a male on the ground beside it.

In his criminal complaint, Milliner said Peckinpaugh told the trooper that he had stopped because he wanted someone to check on him. When that didn’t work, he got on the ground beside the car.

Milliner said Peckinpaugh smelled of alcohol, had slurred speech, and had trouble keeping his balance.

“When asked to perform standardized field sobriety tests, he refused stating that there was no way he could pass due to his severe intoxication,” Milliner wrote.

Peckinpaugh’s blood alcohol content was .32, according to a breath test given at the Sheriff’s Office.

Free on a $3,000 bond, Peckinpaugh has a criminal history that includes charges of weapons felony, driving suspended, DUI, battery, DUI second and being a felon with a firearm.

His court date is July 17.

N.C. woman charged with DWI

Found unresponsive inside the back of her car at a Bland County gas station on June 1, a North Carolina woman was charged with driving while intoxicated-second offense.

Korrey Leigh Byers, 36, of Greensboro will be arraigned June 26 on the misdemeanor charge obtained by Deputy J.P. Agee.

In a criminal complaint, Agee said there was vomit inside the car and that the engine was running when he woke her up and asked her what she was doing.

“She stated watching TV; there was no TV located in the vehicle,” Agee wrote.

Agee said Byers smelled of alcohol and told him she had drank a few beers and half of a fifth of liquor at a Tazewell County party that evening.

She also told him that she had wrecked in Tazewell County after drinking.

Her blood alcohol content was .08, according to the complaint.

On disability, her prior criminal record includes a DUI charge, according to court records.

Byers is free on a $2,500 bond.

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