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HILLSVILLE — Charges have been placed against a father and son from Tennessee after an armed home invasion in the Ivanhoe section of Carroll early Saturday morning, according to Sheriff J.B. Gardner.
The Carroll County Sheriff’s Office received a 911 call at about 12:04 a.m. Saturday, saying that the armed men had broken into a residence in the 8000 block of Ivanhoe Road and threatened to kill a mother and two children, according to a news release from the sheriff.
Carroll deputies, assisted by the Virginia State Police and Wythe County Sheriff’s Office deputies, responded to the home of Connie Sue Denham.
Deputies there found 41-year-old James D. Miller of Dandridge, Tenn., and his 16-year-old son still inside, holding the Denham family against their will.
Miller and Denham had a previous relationship, the sheriff confirmed.
The elder Miller was wearing a mask and had Denham’s cell phone when the deputies arrived.
The two suspects spent time trying to hide items in their possession after they realized that the authorities were on the scene, the sheriff said, but Miller and the juvenile offered no other resistance.
“A loaded .38-caliber handgun, extra ammunition and gloves were located under a bed nearby and identified by the victim as the firearm and gloves that Miller was wearing,” Gardner said. “When deputies located the 16-year-old son, he had a mask, a roll of duct tape, a pair of gloves and two flashlights in his possession.”
A car belonging to a Miller family member sat outside and had a pair of binoculars and packaging from the recent purchase of gloves, masks, duct tape and binoculars from a Walmart in Kingsport, Tenn., the sheriff said.
Deputies charged Miller with a felony count of entering a home while armed in the nighttime with the intent to commit murder, rape, robbery or arson; three felony counts of abduction; three felony counts of use of a firearm; a felony count of wearing a hood or mask to conceal identity; two misdemeanor counts of violating a protective order; a misdemeanor county of contributing to the delinquency of a minor; and a misdemeanor count of destruction of property, Gardner reported.
The juvenile, who police did not identify due to his age, faces one felony count of breaking and entering a dwelling house, while armed, in the nighttime with the intent to commit murder, rape, robbery or arson; as well as three felony counts of abduction and three counts of use of a firearm in the commission of a felony.
Miller is being held in the New River Valley Regional Jail without bond, and the juvenile remains at the New River Valley Juvenile Detention Center until a hearing date can be set.
Gardner felt grateful to the law enforcement officers who kept the Denham family safe and that no one got hurt.
“I am very pleased with the outcome of this call and I am thankful for all of the men and women who took the call and those who responded,” he said. “They knew when this call came in, it was a matter of life or death for the family inside the house.
“I cannot imagine many things being scarier to a family than being in your own home with your children and someone breaking in with intentions of doing you and your children harm.”
Deputies who responded from Carroll County were Sgt. Tony Horton, corporals Barry Lineberry and Chuck Edwards and deputies Joseph Holderfield, Miranda Davis and Brian Felts.