Tuesday, October 11, 2011 · 02:20 pm
Harvey L. Bryant, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Virginia Beach, announced today that James Lee Henley, 32 years old, previously residing in the 1700 block of Back Bay Landing Road in Virginia Beach, was sentenced by Circuit Court Judge William R. O’Brien for charges of Robbery, Statutory Burglary, Robbery (Attempt), two counts of Assault and Battery of a Law Enforcement Officer, Grand Larceny (Attempt), Destruction of Property, and a Violation of Probation. Judge O’Brien sentenced Henley to 52 years in prison. He suspended 40 years, leaving Henley with 12 years to serve. Henley pled guilty on June 20, 2011.
Had this matter gone to trial, the Commonwealth’s evidence would have proven that on October 4, 2010, Henley was stealing copper coils from an AC unit when he was noticed by a Virginia Beach Police Officer. He fled, was later arrested, and granted bond in General District Court over the objection of the Commonwealth. While awaiting trial for that offense, Henley robbed a 7-11 on Aragona Blvd in Virginia Beach at knifepoint on January 25, 2011. Henley was identified as a suspect in that robbery after thorough investigation by the Virginia Beach Police Department and Crime Solvers tips.
“Local television broadcasts of Henley’s picture led to multiple tips about his identity and whereabouts,” Bryant said. “Such news coverage of crime in our region is a public service to be appreciated.”
On February 4, 2011, police spotted Henley in a BMW on Virginia Beach Blvd. As they attempted to stop the vehicle, Henley fled on foot into the Chesopeian Colony neighborhood. He ran into a home of a woman and her toddler, threatening them and demanding the woman’s car keys. She was eventually able to escape into her backyard and receive assistance from the police. During the arrest process, Henley kicked in the door of a police car and spat on two officers.
Henley’s prior record consists of convictions for Possession of Marijuana, Driving under the Influence, Use Profane/Threatening Language over the Phone, Assault, three (3) counts of Forgery, Trespassing, and multiple counts of Driving with a Revoked License. Henley is awaiting sentencing in Chesapeake for Robbery.
Associate Commonwealth’s Attorney Wendy R. Alexander prosecuted the case. Please call Macie Pridgen if additional information is desired.