New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | February 24, 2024

Chase leads to 1-year term

By Alan Chamberlain | May 21, 2008 10:25 am

A Gloucester County man will spend a year in prison for leading New Kent deputies on a high-speed chase into James City County.

Last Nov. 21, Arley Vaughn Nemo III, 28, of 3981 J. Leonards Place in Hayes, was behind the wheel of a vehicle that approached a police checking detail on Route 155 near the Charles City County line. Nemo told officers he did not have his license with him, at which time he was ordered to pull his car off the roadway.

Nemo floored the accelerator, speeding off toward Providence Forge. By the time deputies got to the Route 155/60 intersection, Nemo’s vehicle was nowhere in sight.

Deputies were dispatched in both directions on Route 60, eventually catching up to Nemo’s vehicle in Lanexa. A chase ensued into James City at speeds up to 95 miles per hour.

Just over a mile east of Anderson’s Corner, Nemo pulled into a driveway and fled on foot. James City officers eventually found the suspect about an hour later behind the Welcome South Restaurant, prosecutor Linwood Gregory told the court during Nemo’s trial on April 21 in New Kent Circuit Court.

Gregory said the defendant told officers he sped away because he had just got out of prison and did not want to go back.

As part of a plea deal, Nemo pleaded guilty to felony eluding police and misdemeanor vandalism. Charges of reckless driving and driving on a suspended license were dropped.

Judge Thomas B. Hoover sentenced Nemo according to the plea deal, imposing five years in prison with all but the one year suspended for 20 years. On the vandalism count, which involved destroying a blanket belonging to the sheriff’s office, the judge suspended all of a 90-day jail term and ordered Nemo to pay $30 for the blanket.

The defendant shredded the blanket while sitting in a holding cell at the sheriff’s office. When asked why, Gregory said, Nemo replied it was something he learned how to do while in prison.

In another, unrelated case on April 21, a Richmond woman pleaded guilty to felony embezzlement in connection with the theft of lottery tickets from the New Kent convenience store where she worked as a clerk.

Jessica Ann Henshaw, 24, of 4705 Chipoax Ave., faces up to 20 years in prison when sentencing is held in July. She was seen on surveillance video recorded from Aug. 5-27 taking tickets, scratching them off, and removing money from the cash register at Bottoms Bridge Shell.

She was indicted in January for thefts amounting to $620, but the store’s owner since conducted an extensive study of videotapes, revealing the actual amount of $6,469.

Gregory told the court the defendant took the tickets and money to support two children after she had lost her house. Henshaw has paid back $700 so far and remains free on bond until the sentencing date.

Also on April 21, a Charles City County man will serve three years in prison for cocaine possession with intent to distribute.

Ray Linwood Brown Sr., 32, of 8701 Adkins Road, was found guilty following a Feb. 1 trial. Brown was arrested last July 24 at a State Police checkpoint after a search turned up 30 small plastic bags, each containing a cocaine rock, stuffed into his pants pocket.

Brown told investigators he had bought crack on at least 10 occasions over the past month from a supplier in Williamsburg. He said he sold the drugs on a regular basis to four customers in Charles City and did not use the drugs himself.

Gregory pointed to Brown’s previous drug offense convictions, telling the court, “Apparently he’s very active in the drug culture.”

“So if he’s got it and doesn’t use it, he’s got to be selling it,” Hoover said before imposing 40 years in prison with all but the three years suspended for the next 40 years.

In another April 21 case, Hoover suspended all 10 years imposed on a New Kent man for two separate convictions for driving after being declared a habitual offender. Instead, the judge ordered John Thomas Brandon Jr., 54, of 4830 Mountcastle Road, Providence Forge, to successfully complete the state’s diversion center program.

During a January trail, Brandon was found guilty of both offenses. The first stemmed from his arrest by a New Kent deputy on March 25, 2007. Then on Nov. 8, the same deputy arrested him on a similar charge.

Hoover imposed five years on both counts, suspending all for the next 20 years. Then on a probation violation, the judge revoked six months of 18 years, seven months that had been hanging over Brandon’s head for an earlier conviction.

Also on April 21, a Hopewell man pleaded guilty to driving after being declared a habitual offender, second offense. Michael F. Stith, 40, of 2619 Maple St., faces a mandatory one-year prison term and up to five years when sentencing is held in July.

Stith was behind the wheel of a car bearing “an obviously altered 30-day tag,” Gregory said, when a county deputy stopped the vehicle last Oct. 1. A check of his record later revealed Stith to be a habitual offender, and he was arrested on the charge on Oct. 10 at the Star Motel in Quinton where he was staying.