Former Berkeley County Commissioner victim of violent armed robbery

Ronald Lee Shamburg, Brian Lance Shamburg and Jennifer Marie Barnhart face charges

July 13, 2011|By MATTHEW UMSTEAD |
  • Howard Strauss chairs his final meeting as president of the Berkeley County (W.Va.) Commission in November 2006.
File photo

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Two men and a woman accused in the violent armed robbery of former Berkeley County Commissioner Howard L. Strauss were arrested Wednesday only hours after the attack, authorities said.

Ronald Lee Shamburg, 22, and Brian Lance Shamburg, 30, both of Martinsburg, are charged with armed robbery, malicious wounding, burglary and three counts of conspiracy, West Virginia State Police Sgt. J.D. Burkhart said in a news release.

Jennifer Marie Barnhart, 31, also of Martinsburg, is charged with armed robbery, burglary and three counts of conspiracy, police said.

All three were being held in Eastern Regional Jail Wednesday night on cash-only bonds set by Berkeley County Magistrate Sandra L. Miller, according to court and jail records.

Strauss, 57, who drove himself to City Hospital in Martinsburg for treatment after the robbery, later was released from the hospital, according to police and hospital officials.

State Troopers C.S. Maynard and N.K. Campbell responded to investigate the armed robbery at Strauss' residence at 549 Kestrel Drive in Falling Waters, W.Va., just after 1 a.m., police said.

Strauss told authorities that two white males and a white female forced their way into his residence and attacked him, beating him in the face and shocking him with a Taser multiple times, court records said.

Police saw a large amount of blood on the floor inside Strauss' home upon arriving at the crime scene.

Maynard said in a complaint filed against the defendants in magistrate court that Strauss' face appeared extremely swollen.

Strauss also told police that his attackers also used an electronic Taser on his stomach and legs about 20 times. They also took about $1,000 in cash from his wallet and his mobile phone, the court documents said.

At City Hospital, Strauss told police that a female knocked on his door and asked to use his telephone, according to court documents and police. When he opened the front door, Strauss said he was "rushed" by the two white males, who were wearing masks, the documents said.

Strauss identified Ronald Shamburg as a possible suspect, telling police that the defendant had done work for him at his residence about a week ago along with another unknown male.

Strauss told police he gave money to Ronald Shamburg to complete a job that he had yet to finish, which concerned the victim, the documents said.

About 8:11 a.m., police found the trio at 318 S. Kentucky Ave. in Martinsburg, the residence of Brian Shamburg and Barnhart, the documents said. Ronald Shamburg's address is 211 Brilliant Stone Drive in Martinsburg, according to court records.

When questioned, all three individuals admitted to traveling to Strauss' residence with the intent of stealing money from him, according to police.

The Shamburgs admitted to beating Strauss and stealing money from him, and Barnhart also admitted to taking part in the plot, police said. 

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