Botetourt County investigators arrested two Roanoke men suspected of a home invasion incident that occurred on December 28, 2009; and in an unrelated incident, arrested a 54-year-old Roanoke County man on three charges related to his alleged involvement with a 16-year-old girl.
George Theodore Fitzgerald and Kevin Wayne Ferguson, both 32, were charged with possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, breaking and entering, two counts of abduction, wearing a mask, two counts of robbery and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony when they were arrested March 4.
The two were arrested after a Botetourt grand jury returned direct indictments against them on March 1.
Shortly after midnight on December 28, three subjects entered the home of an elderly couple on Glebe Hill Road in Daleville and awakened the residents, according to Sheriff Ronnie Sprinkle.
The couple was forced at gunpoint to lead them to their home safe, but the victim was too nervous to open it. In addition to taking the safe, the trio also took a purse from one of the victims, Sprinkle said.
Investigators have been working diligently on this case since it was reported, Sprinkle said.
The investigation continues in regard to the third suspect.
James A. Wertz of Read Mountain Road NE in Roanoke County was arrested this week when he was charged with a felony for allegedly taking indecent liberties with a child under his custodial supervision and two misdemeanors, simple assault and sexual battery by force. The incident allegedly occurred last summer.
Living Hope Fellowship Pastor Robert Moore released the following statement Friday afternoon. “Living Hope Fellowship is fully cooperating with the local authorities regarding the ongoing investigation of Jim Wertz. Mr. Wertz was removed as a volunteer youth worker at Living Hope Fellowship in February. We have full faith in the authorities and have no further comment at this time.”
Wertz was released on an unsecured $1,000 bond and was ordered by a judge not to have unsupervised contact with anyone under age 18.
Grand Jury Indictment
On March 1, the Botetourt grand jury also returned 35 indictments against Corey Ware, 19, for his alleged involvement in a string of car break-ins the night of December 29-30.
Ware, a former James River High School athlete who graduated in 2008 and is playing football for Concord College, was indicted on eight charges of grand larceny, eight charges of petit larceny and 19 charges of tampering with a vehicle.
Three juveniles had already been arrested in January and charged with the string thefts that night.
The four allegedly took items, especially electronics, whose total value was more than $10,000, according to she sheriff at the time of the arrest of the three juveniles. The sheriff said at the time, there was not a single instance of forced vehicle entry.
The thefts occurred in Tinkerview Gardens in Daleville, Sommersby on Country Club Road, Santillane near Fincastle and along Blue Ridge Springs Road in Blue Ridge. Some of the stolen items had been recovered.
At the time the juveniles were arrested, they were charged with nine counts of grand larceny and two charges of petit larceny. Two of the juveniles are 17-year-old males and the third is a 16-year-old male.
The juveniles have not been identified because of their ages.