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Poe, new McDonald indictments are a near perfect wording match

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EDA Special Grand Jury witnesses line up outside the ever-familiar Warren County Courthouse – just kidding as the fall leaves would indicate. Thought you faithful readers deserved a different courthouse photo than our normal rotation. Royal Examiner File Photo/Roger Bianchini

The three Special Grand Jury indictments served on Earth Right Energy (ERE) controlling partner Donald Fears Poe on Tuesday, July 23, were entered into the Warren County Circuit Court Clerk’s Office records the following day. And as suspected the two financial fraud charges mirror the language in the two new indictments served on former EDA Executive Director Jennifer McDonald on Monday, July 22.

Donald F. Poe jailed on EDA-related fraud charges

In fact other than one word change – substituting “from” for “belonging to” in Poe’s indictment – reflecting their relative positions outside and inside of the EDA, Count One of McDonald and Poe’s new indictments are a precise word-for-word match.

That match includes the dates of the alleged offense being between September 1 and September 22, 2018, and the allegation that Poe and McDonald both did “feloniously conspire with another to obtain by false pretense United States currency having a value of more than $500 from the Front Royal Warren County Virginia Economic Development Authority with the intent to defraud” in violations of state codes.

The differences in Count Two of the McDonald and Poe indictment also reflect their positions inside and outside of the EDA. Whereas a McDonald Count Two indictment reads:

“On or between September 18, 2018 through September 20, 2018, in the County of Warren, Jennifer R. McDonald did unlawfully and feloniously to wrongfully and fraudulently use, dispose of, conceal, convert, or embezzle property belonging to the (FR-WC EDA), with a value of $500 or more, which she had received for the benefit of said (FR-WC EDA) by virtue of her office, trust, or employment” in violation of state codes;

Jennifer McDonald’s RSW mug shot upon her rebooking into the jail this week for her Tuesday motions hearing – Photo RSW website

Poe’s Count Two states that:

“On or about September 18, 2018 through September 22, 2018, in the County of Warren, Donald Fears Poe did unlawfully and feloniously obtain by false pretense United States Currency, having a value of more than $500 with the intent to defraud” in violation of state codes.

As noted in yesterday’s above-referenced story, the Cherry Bekaert fraud investigative working papers notes a $409,812 wire transfer dated September 19, 2018 from the EDA operational account to Earth Right Energy for work at the EDA Kendrick Lane office complex.

Also as noted in yesterday’s story on Poe’s arrest, the Cherry Bekaert summary findings track EDA-ERE financial interactions from July 10 through September 19, 2018.

During that period the fraud report cites seven payments totaling nearly $1.28 million dollars made to Earth Right Energy. Six of those payments came out of the EDA Operating Account, with one $18,000 payment cited from United Financing.

Of those seven payments, four totaling $841,904 were cited for solar installation at the massive Baugh Drive warehouse property and three totaling $437,984.21 were for solar installation and related work at the EDA’s Kendrick Lane office and tenant complex. The final of those payments, of three on the Kendrick Lane solar installation, was made September 19 in a wire transfer of $409,812.48. The Kendrick Lane work appears to have been done, though it is not clear if it was completed since at last public report the EDA still was unable to break down electrical usage between the different tenant locations in the Kendrick Lane office complex.

However it appears the bulk of the $841,904 Cherry Bekaert alleges was paid to Poe’s Earth Right Energy Solar Energy company “for solar equipment and installation that was never received” relates to the Baugh Drive project, which the EDA elected not to pursue.

Donald F. Poe upon being booked into RSW Jail on three EDA-related indictments Tuesday afternoon – Photo RSW website

And while ERE attorneys have pointed to a $334,851 reimbursement to the EDA on the Baugh Drive project, as noted above the Cherry Bekaert report cites a considerably larger amount in payments made to Poe and minority partner Justin Appleton’s company on that project that was not followed through on.

Poe’s third charge is giving false testimony under oath, or perjury, cited as occurring on June 21, 2019. That likely involves Poe’s being called before the Special Grand Jury investigating potential criminality tied to the EDA civil litigation filed March 26. Poe, his Earth Right Energy partner Appleton and the company are three of the nine defendants named in that suit.

Sheriff, ITFed principal Tran, Donnie Poe named with McDonald in EDA civil suit

As with previous indictments filed by the Special Grand Jury, 14 against Jennifer McDonald and two against Michelle Henry, the three sealed indictments handed down against Poe by the grand jury on July 23 were signed by Special Grand Jury Foreman Bryon T. Biggs.

Poe is not likely to appear in Warren County Circuit Court on a bond hearing before next Wednesday, July 31, when Harrisonburg-based 26th Judicial District Chief Presiding Judge Bruce D. Albertson is due back to hear motions in the McDonald and Henry cases.

Henry freed on $2,500 secured bond in EDA case; McDonald hearing July 31

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Crime/Court

State Police release details of high-speed chase, arrest of Herndon woman

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On Wednesday, August 12, the Virginia State Police (VSP) issued a press release on the circumstance of the multi-jurisdiction pursuit and arrest of Herndon resident Jennifer L. Arnn. The release indicates the date of the incident as Thursday, August 6. Our initial report indicated the incident occurred on Friday, August 7, which is listed as her booking date on the RSW Jail website. VSP Public Information Officer Brent Coffey explained that Arnn spent Thursday night at the hospital for injuries incurred during the incident, which appear to be reflected in her jail booking mug shot.

Jennifer Arnn faces one animal cruelty charge resulting in the fatality of dog or cat; one reckless driving charge, one vandalism charge of intentional damaging of public property. Photo courtesy of RSW Jail.

That incident began with a reckless driving “Be on the Lookout” issued in Berkley County, West Virginia, after which VSP spotted the vehicle on I-81 in Frederick County, Virginia.
Below is the VSP release in its entirety:

WARREN CO., Va. – A Herndon, Va. woman is behind bars on multiple charges after she fled law enforcement Thursday (August 6, 2020). Virginia State Police have charged Jennifer L. Arnn, 39, in Warren County with three felony counts of assault on law enforcement, one felony count of intentional damage, one felony count of eluding law enforcement, one felony count of animal cruelty, one misdemeanor count of driving under the influence, and one misdemeanor count of possession of marijuana.

On Thursday at approximately 11:17 a.m. the Berkley County Sheriff’s Office issued a “Be On the Lookout” for a reckless driver. A short time later state police observed the suspect vehicle, a 2016 Mazda CS-X on I-81 at the 307-mile marker in Frederick County. State police initiated a traffic stop on the Mazda which stopped but took off when approached by a trooper.

The Mazda continued on Rt. 277 in Frederick County. The Mazda was eventually contained and stopped on I-66 at the 4.6-mile marker in Warren County. The driver, Arnn, was taken into custody without further incident. Arnn was transported to RSW Regional Jail and held without bond.

During the course of the pursuit, Arnn pushed her dog out the window. State police were able to locate the dog, but it did not survive its injuries.

Arnn struck three state police cruisers during the pursuit. One of the state police troopers suffered minor injuries during the incident.

The pursuit reached speeds of up to 100 mph.

Woman held at RSW Jail after state police chase, animal abuse-fatality charge

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Woman held at RSW Jail after state police chase, animal abuse-fatality charge

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A 39-year-old woman is in Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren County (RSW) Regional Jail without bond on six charges related to an August 7th law enforcement chase during which at least one Virginia State Police cruiser was sideswiped.

Jennifer Arnn faces one animal cruelty charge resulting in the fatality of dog or cat; one reckless driving charge, one vandalism charge of intentional damaging of public property, likely at least police cars, and three charges of assault on law enforcement officers in the conduct of their job.

Jennifer Arnn sports some facial abrasions in her RSW mug shot. She was booked into the regional jail at 2:34 p.m., Friday, Aug. 7. Photo courtesy of RSW Jail.

A portion of the Friday afternoon incident was captured on a cell phone video posted on social media (see below). The video involves Arnn’s vehicle and what appears to be marked and unmarked police cars and an unidentified fourth vehicle stopped at an intersection in Warren County’s north commercial corridor near the Target-anchored Crooked Run Shopping Center.

The video appears to show Arnn attempting to leave the scene with something appearing to be hanging out of the rear passenger side of her car, the sideswipe of a pursuing state police car and Arnn’s vehicle heading southbound on Route 522/340 toward the intersection with I-66.

No place of residence was listed on the jail website and no further detail of the incident was available at the time of publication. This story will be updated as additional information becomes available.

The social media video (posted by Desirae Jean) of a portion of the incident in Warren County’s north commercial corridor:

YalllllllThis lady was getting flung around her car with every ram, and they had guns drawn on her, she was hell bent to get away 👀😳😳

Posted by Desirae Jean on Thursday, 6 August 2020

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Crime/Court

Front Royal man charged and arrested for offense against 14-year-old female

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On Wednesday, July 22, 2020, Carlos F. Robinson, 21, of Front Royal, was charged and arrested for §18.2-63 Carnal knowledge of a child between thirteen and fifteen years of age. The incident occurred in the 400 Block of E. Criser Road in the month of June. The victim, a 14-year-old female, came forward in this matter after receiving medical attention. Detectives are continuing the investigation to determine if more potential victims would be willing to come forward.

Carlos F. Robinson. Photo courtesy of RSW Regional Jail.

Mr. Robinson was arrested without incident and transported to the Rappahannock Shenandoah Warren (RSW) Regional Jail where he went before the magistrate and was ordered to be held without bond. A court date for this offense is set for August 13, 2020, at 9:00 am, in Warren County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. Further details regarding this matter cannot be released at this time due to the pending nature of the investigation.

This investigation is ongoing and anyone with any further information is asked to contact Front Royal Police Detective M.R. Ramey at (540) 636-2208 or by email at mramey@frontroyalva.com.

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Crime/Court

Marys Shady Lane vehicle arson incident, two arrested and charged

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Photo courtesy of Warren County Department of Fire and Rescue Services

On Monday, July 20, 2020, at approximately 12:17 am, the Warren County Fire and Rescue Services responded to Mary’s Shady Lane approximately one mile from Happy Creek Road for a reported motor vehicle fire.

Firefighters and Deputy’s from the Warren County Sheriff’s Office arrived on the scene to find a passenger vehicle fully engulfed in flames and a fire spreading to a nearby field. Firefighters were able to quickly contain the blaze and determined that no occupants were in or around the vehicle.

The cause of the fire was investigated by the Warren County Fire Marshal’s Office. Fire Investigators determined the fire was caused by an act of arson. Fire Investigators were joined by the Warren County Sheriff’s Office in a joint investigation.

Ethan N. Potter (19 years of age), of Front Royal

As a result of the investigation, Mr. Ethan N. Potter (19 years of age), of Front Royal, and Mr. Nicholas A. Wright (21 years of age), of Front Royal, were both arrested and charged in connection with the fire incident. Both Potter and Wright have been charged with a single felony count of §18.2-81. Burning or destroying personal property, standing grain, etc. Mr. Wright was also charged with a single misdemeanor count of §18.2-460. Obstructing justice; resisting arrest; fleeing from a law enforcement officer. Both Potter and Wright appeared before a magistrate and were released on a secured bond.

Nicholas A. Wright (21 years of age), of Front Royal

Anyone with additional information regarding this incident is asked to contact Fire Marshal Gerry Maiatico at 540-636-3830 or Sheriff’s Office Deputy Anthony Stevens 540-635-4128.

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Crime/Court

Front Royal woman charged in assault of 2-year-old in her care

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Candice L. McCartney. Photo courtesy of RSW Jail

On Tuesday, July 14, 2020, Candice L. McCartney, 28, of Front Royal, was charged with § 40.1-103 Cruelty and Injuries to Children and § 18.2-57.2 Assault and Battery Against a Family Member. The victim is a 2-year-old child who was in McCartney’s care when the alleged incident occurred. The alleged assault occurred in the 300 block of Ritenour Street on July 13, 2020. A forensic examination of the child was conducted by Winchester Medical Center for treatment of serious but non-life-threatening injuries.

McCartney was arrested without incident and transported to the Rappahannock Shenandoah Warren (RSW) Regional Jail where she went before the magistrate and was held on a secure bond. A court date for this offense is set for August 13, 2020, at 9:00 am, in Warren County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court. Further details regarding this matter cannot be released at this time due to the pending nature of the investigation.

This investigation is ongoing and anyone with any further information is asked to contact Front Royal Police Detective M.R. Ramey at (540) 636-2208 or by email at mramey@frontroyalva.com.

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Crime/Court

Two Dinwiddie, VA men arrested; firearms, felony assault, outstanding warrants & more

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On Sunday, June 28th at approximately 02:21 AM, Deputy C. Clatterbuck, and Deputy R. Burleson conducted a traffic stop on Fort Valley Road in the area of the Shenandoah County line. During the stop, it was found that the driver of the vehicle was wanted out of another jurisdiction.

Another vehicle arrived at the scene that was traveling with the vehicle on the traffic stop. While Clatterbuck was interacting with the second vehicle, Clatterbuck heard a series of gunshots in the woods near him. After a few minutes, Clatterbuck heard a second round of gunshots in the woods closer to him. After investigation, it was found that the gunshots came from a male occupant of the second vehicle.

Dakota M. Davis, 20, of Dinwiddie, VA. Photo courtesy of RSW Jail.

The male occupant, identified as Dakota M. Davis, 20, of Dinwiddie, VA, was taken into custody a short time later without incident. Davis was charged with 4.1-305 Underage Possession of Alcohol, 18.2-460 Obstruction of Justice, 18.2-56.1 Reckless Handling of a Firearm, 18.2-57 Felony Assault of LEO X2, and 18.2-388 Public Intoxication.

Michael C. Scites, 38, of Dinwiddie, VA. Photo courtesy of RSW Jail.

The male driver, identified as Michael C. Scites, 38, of Dinwiddie, VA, was taken into custody without incident. Scites was charged with 46.2-301 Driving Suspended/Revoked 3rd or subsequent offense, 18.2-250.1 possession of marijuana, and served with his outstanding warrants out of Henrico County.

Both Davis and Scites were held without bond and are currently at RSW Regional Jail. Warren County Sheriff’s Office was assisted by the Front Royal Police Department, Shenandoah County Sheriff’s Office and Fauquier County Sheriff’s Office we would like to thank these agencies for their assistance.

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