HENRICO, Va. (WTVR) – A strange twist today in the case of the man accused of leading police on a wild chase from James City County to Henrico County last July. The incident left one man dead and sparked an all out manhunt in the Henrico east end.
In court Wednesday morning, Henrico prosecutors revealed they're considering dropping a felony charge of eluding law enforcement against Eric Roach, 41. The convicted felon plead guilty in James City County, back in April to robbery, abduction and two counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Roach faces life in prison plus 18 years.
"He plead to significant charges in James City County which carry life in prison," said Commonwealth's Attorney Shannon Taylor. "In that situation, the court will impose a sentence that I'm sure will be reflective of the facts of this terrible case."
Last July, Roach and Basil Bilal Berry, 33, were caught on surveillance camera robbing the Goodman and Sons jewelry store in James City County. During the heist police say the two men tied up and also robbed four employees and a maintenance man.
After leaving the jewelry store, the two men were spotted by a Charles City County deputy. But the pair refused to surrender, eventually making their way to Henrico County. As the police pursuit continued, the men reportedly shot at the officers during the chase. Law enforcement returned fire. Berry was shot and the SUV he and Roach were traveling in crashed. Berry later died from his injuries. Roach was able to get away but was found and arrested several days later as he walked along railroad tracks in eastern Henrico County.
Eric Roach is scheduled to be sentenced on July 13 at 9 a.m. in James City County. He is then set to appear inside Henrico County court on July 24 at 2:30 p.m.