Multiple arrests have been made in connection with an incident that left an 82-year-old man severely beaten during what appears to be a burglary at his residence near Swedeborg in Pulaski County late last week. The incident was reported on July 25. The victim remains in critical condition.
Multiple arrests have been made in connection with an incident that left an 82-year-old man severely beaten during what appears to be a burglary at his residence near Swedeborg in Pulaski County late last week.
The incident was reported on July 25. The victim remains in critical condition.
According to Pulaski County Sheriff Ron Long, deputies were dispatched to a residence on Highway T to check on the well being of a resident last Friday. When deputies arrived and approached the home, they heard a man screaming for help from inside. Deputies found Robert Willhite lying on the floor, with his hands and feet bound together by duct tape. He was partially naked.
Willhite's eyes were swollen shut, and several marks were visible on his face that was covered in blood. His hands had been bound by duct tape for a long enough period of time that caused blood to break his skin due to circulation being cut off.
Long reported several collectable coins valued at approximately $5,000 along with two AR-15 rifles valued at $3,000 had been stolen from the victim's home.
On July 28, deputies learned that a woman named Jessica Berry was possibly in possession of the stolen coins. When officers contacted Berry, she agreed to speak with them.
In a written statement, she told officers that she received a phone call from Roby Sapere saying “Dale went too far by tying the old man up with duct tape.” She went on to tell law enforcement that every time Willhite moved or made a sound that Dale hit him.
Berry also said that Sapere drove her and another man by the residence, pointing out Willhite's home and telling them that was “the house.”
Berry was arrested on charges of receiving stolen property. Sapere has been charged with burglary and first-degree assault causing serious physical injury.
A third suspect, Thomas York, has also been arrested and charged in this case. York is facing seven charges including first-degree assault, first-degree burglary, felonious restraint, two counts of theft/stealing of a firearm and two counts of unlawful possession of a firearm.
He was identified from video surveillance tape after deputies tracked down the bar code on a pry bar found at the scene.
Long said that along with the arrests, some of the stolen property has been recovered along with multiple firearms stemming from other offenses committed in Pulaski and Miller counties.
A press conference will be held on Wednesday, July 30, at 9 a.m. at the Pulaski County Courthouse. Additional information is expected to be released at that time.
Long said a total of five suspects believed to be involved have been taken into custody following what was described as an extensive manhunt.
Among them is fugitive Vernon Dale Parker. He was tracked down and apprehended in the Fulton area. Parker is allegedly the Dale referred to in charging documents.
Long said some of the stolen property was recovered along with firearms from other offenses committed in Pulaski and Miller counties.