Home invasion suspects caught

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By Christopher Brooke, Reporter

IVANHOE — Two suspects in a home-invasion robbery who sped off with a trunk full of guns are in custody at the New River Valley Regional Jail.

Deputies from the Carroll and Wythe sheriffs’ departments and the Virginia State Police cooperated to track down Donnell Edward Callahan, 26, of Blacksburg, and Korie Leigh Hodges, 18, of Fries. Each faces multiple charges.

Victim James Andrew Newman was pistol-whipped and held down while one robber carried 21 guns out of his home on Cherry Lane in Ivanhoe, Carroll Sheriff Warren Manning said. Newman received medical treatment.

“This couple went in on him while he was in bed,” the sheriff said. “[The male suspect] held him down while the lady carried the guns out of the house.”

The suspects managed to obscure their identities from the victim in the dark of early morning, but Newman did catch a glimpse of a white Ford Probe speeding away.

The suspects took 21 guns, mostly long guns, from the home.

“The [female suspect] is kin to the victim,” Manning said, when asked how the suspects knew about the guns. “There’s no doubt in my mind they were going to sell them, sell the guns for money.”

Virginia State Police Trooper S.M. Cochran spotted the Probe in Carroll County and gave chase about 3:30 a.m., according to Sgt. Mike Conroy.

The chase lasted about 10 minutes before the suspects’ vehicle wrecked at a residence and damaged another car on Lots Gap Road in Wythe County.

State police and Wythe deputies searched for the couple, who fled on foot after the wreck, Conroy said. Wythe deputies spotted and caught Hodges at about 8:30 a.m.

Callahan was caught about 90 minutes later, he said. Officers found a .45-caliber handgun on him when he was caught.

Both face 21 charges of grand larceny as well as breaking and entering in the nighttime to commit an armed robbery, armed robbery, abduction (for allegedly holding Newman down), malicious wounding and burglary.

Callahan also faces a count of possession of a firearm as a convicted felon.

From the pursuit, Callahan was charged with felony eluding, carrying a concealed weapon, destruction of property, driving while suspended and two counts of reckless driving.

Because Callahan has a criminal history, Sheriff Manning thinks that the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms will look at the case, too.

Federal penalties are tougher than those typically imposed by state courts.

Manning and Conroy thanked the three law enforcement agencies for cooperation in catching the suspects without further incident.