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Man sentenced to serve 48 years
Home invasion, beating death in Danville
Sunday, May 4, 2014
By BULLETIN STAFF REPORTS -
A Collinsville man was sentenced to serve 48 years in prison for his role in a home invasion and beating death in Danville, that city’s commonwealth’s attorney said Friday.
Robert Dale Warner, 44, of Collinsville, admitted to breaking into the Danville home of Charles Donald Earls in October, said Danville Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Newman. Warner said he did so with two other men, Newman said.
They went to Earls’ home because they believed he had money and pills, possibly prescription drugs, the prosecutor said.
Earls was beaten to death during the incident. Warner maintains that although he was present at the time Earls was killed, he did not take part in the beating, Newman said.
“He claims one of the three (perpetrators) went off and beat the guy,” Newman said. “But they were there acting together.”
Under Virginia law, Warner is culpable for the murder, Newman said.
Warner pleaded guilty in February to first-degree murder, robbery, statutory burglary and use of a firearm in the commission of a felony in connection with the incident, according to Newman and online court records.
Warner appeared in Danville Circuit Court on Thursday, where he was given a life sentence on the murder charge with all but 25 years suspended, Newman said. Warner received 20 years each on the robbery and burglary charges, with 10 years suspended on each count, and three years for the firearms charge. That amounts to a total of 48 years to serve.
A second man, Tony Ray Spivey of Danville, was sentenced earlier last week to serve 43 years in prison for his role in Earls’ death and related charges, Newman said.
The third man has not been named, according to published reports.
Warner remained in the Danville City Jail as of Thursday, Newman said.