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Former Berkeley County Commissioner thanks community for support

Howard L. Strauss was beaten and robbed in a home invasion and attack

July 14, 2011|By BILL KOHLER and MATTHEW UMSTEAD | billk@herald-mail.com
  • Howard Strauss chairs his final meeting as president of the Berkeley County (W.Va.) Commission in November 2006.
File photo

MARTINSBURG, W.Va. — Former Berkeley County Commissioner Howard L. Strauss released a statement Thursday, thanking community members for their support following a home invasion and attack that left him beaten and robbed.

Strauss, 57, who last served as commissioner in December of 2006, told West Virginia State Police that he was robbed and beaten at his Falling Waters, W.Va., home early Wednesday.

He later drove himself to City Hospital in Martinsburg, where he was treated and released.

Three Martinsburg residents were charged in the attack: Ronald Lee Shamburg, 22; Brian Lance Shamburg, 30, and Jennifer Marie Barnhart, 31.

The defendants, who remain incarcerated at Eastern Regional Jail, are scheduled to appear before Berkeley County Magistrate JoAnn Overington today for a preliminary hearing, according to court and jail records.

In his statement released Thursday, Strauss thanked family and friends for their support.

"I am truly blessed by the amount of support that has been offered during this time of recovery, and I cannot thank you enough for your assistance," he wrote.

Strauss also thanked state police and Sr. Trooper C.S. Maynard for their efforts in the case.

He also addressed those involved in the incident.

"To the individuals who have committed the home invasion I will ask you to repent, spend the rest of your life considering the consequences of your actions and turn your life around to help others in our great community at the time of your release," he wrote.

Strauss also asked the media for time to heal and recover.

Police said Strauss told them he was beaten in the face and shocked with an electronic Taser on his stomach and legs more than 20 times. Strauss said the assailants also took $1,000 in cash from his wallet and his mobile phone, police said.

Strauss served on the county commission, now known as the county council, for one year in 1992 after he was appointed to fill out an unexpired term. He was elected to serve in 1996, but the state Supreme Court awarded the seat to another person because of residency requirements. He was elected to the commission again in 2000, but opted not to run again in 2006 after serving the six-year term.

Strauss purchased the 3.1-acre Kestrel Drive property in October 2010 for $165,000 in a U.S. Bankruptcy Court-approved sale, according to county records.

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Howard L. Strauss' statement

From the Office of Former Berkeley County Commissioner

Howard L. Strauss

July 14, 2011

To my family, friends and community I would like to extend my great appreciation for your kind words of support in the last few days. I am truly blessed by the amount of support that has been offered during this time of recovery and I cannot thank you enough for your assistance.

To the West Virginia State Police and Senior Trooper C. S. Maynard I can't express my appreciation enough for your work as well as your department's work in investigating the incident at a diligent pace working countless hours for the apprehension.

To the individuals who have committed the home invasion I will ask you to repent, spend the rest of your life considering the consequences of your actions and turn your life around to help others in our great community at the time of your release.

To the media I would ask you to give me the healing time that is necessary during my recovery so I can have the time to recover and personally thank everyone.

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