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Posted October 1, 2012 | comments 21 Comments

Man charged with attempted murder of Front Royal officer

By Joe Beck -- jbeck@nvdaily.com

A grand jury handed up an indictment Monday, charging a Front Royal man with a count of attempted capital murder of a law enforcement officer and four other offenses Monday in Warren County Circuit Court.

Clyde Eugene Burrell Jr., 33, was arrested July 28 after Front Royal police officers identified him as the man who allegedly sent two officers to Warren Memorial Hospital, one of them with serious injuries after a hand-to-hand struggle on Shenandoah Avenue.

Burrell sat expressionless and hunched over a table next to his attorney, assistant public defender Margarita Wood, as the other four charges were read to him: malicious bodily injury to a law enforcement officer; two counts of assault on a law enforcement officer and obstruction of justice by threat or use of force.

The criminal complaint signed by Detective Sgt. Jason A. Ryman states that Burrell beat Sgt. Bryan Courtney about the head and face with Courtney's baton. The struggle began when Courtney answered a report about a man exposing himself to passing motorists on North Shenandoah Avenue around 6:30 p.m., according to the complaint.

The complaint states that witnesses saw the two men begin struggling and fall to the ground after Courtney approached Burrell. Burrell gained the upper hand by pinning Courtney with his legs and repeatedly slamming Courtney's head into the pavement, according to the complaint.

The two men continued to struggle as Burrell placed a partial headlock on Courtney and raked his fingers through the officer's eyes, the complaint states. Courtney tried to regain control of the baton, but found himself on his back with Burrell straddling him, the complaint states.

"Burrell ripped the baton from Courtney's grip," raised the baton over his head and was about to hit Courtney when Detective Jason Lethcoe tackled him, and a second fight broke out between Lethcoe and Burrell, the complaint states. The struggle continued until Lethcoe knocked Burrell to the ground and ordered him on his stomach, according to the complaint.

The complaint states that Burrell continued to resist Lethcoe's attempts to handcuff him until a passerby intervened and helped place him in custody. Lethcoe was treated and released from Warren Memorial Hospital after the incident, but Courtney remained hospitalized for several days afterward.

Court records show Burrell was convicted of assault and battery to a law enforcement officer in 2010. He also had several encounters with town police after he completed serving a jail sentence from the assault and battery charge, according to court records.

Burrell returned to the jail after the hearing where he is being held without bond. He is also facing a possible revocation of the probation sentence he was serving at the time of his arrest.

21 Comments | Leave a comment

    So the mentally ill man beat the officer's ass and he is charged with attempted murder. This will NOT be the conviction. Anyone want to challenge me on my prediction? I will take cash bets only.

    Let’s think about that statement... First off being Mentally ill, does not excuse you from knowing right or wrong. This man has a history and convictions for assault on Police Officers. After you learn to read you will notice the prior 2010 conviction. This was not just some random beating against some low trash ignorant scum as youself howboutthehotel? This was against a Police Officer. This charge will stick that’s why he is being held without Bond! With the prior conviction against a Police Officer, he will be doing years of time. Have a great day!

    yes i must agree... prior convictions of assault on a law enforcement officer i'd say he will be convicted... he was mentally ill when he assaulted the officers the first time and was convicted so him being ill won't affected his attempted capital murder charge either....some people just dont have respect for the people that protect them

      Whether this dude is mentally ill has no bearing on the attempted capital murder charges. Prior assault convictions are not telling either. Whether this man actually tried to kill a police officer is what counts. With what has been reported in the several stories on this case there is no fair minded judge or jury who will know beyond a reasonable doubt that Burrell's intent was to kill the officer. If I had to guess attempted malicous wounding or attempted unlawful wounding is where this will go. Both felonies. Convictions more frequently reached when some one whips somebody elses ass and causes them injury.

        I intentionally stay away from these stories. There are just too many variables. However, I agree given the limited information the public has been given and the possible mental illness factor, that Burrell will likely not be found guilty of attempted capital murder. *If* mental illness truly is a factor, then I hope for this mans sake there are jury members that have dealt with it directly and actually have a clue. If not, and we are just dealing with a sociopath then I hope it is handled within the full extent of the law. But as I said, news stories such as these offer far too many variables that no one can account for.

    Mentally ill? Don't know about that but here in Carroll County, Maryland he has a long arrest record for assaults and destruction of property, etc. It would appear he does not care who he beats the crap out of. Just don't make him angry and you might not get hit. He is a danger to everyone, not just police.

      Well Sassy, according to the public records in Carroll County, there were only two incidents involving this person and that was over 10 years ago. In fact, in 1997 and in 1998. All but one case was dismissed. He did plead guilty to second degree assault back in 1998.

        So what is your point Windy? Does it matter how long ago his arrests were? He has a criminal history. Assault is assault, no matter how old or long ago it was. Also, as you know, all cases are not on the Maryland Judical Website.

          The point is, his record isn't as extensive as you've stated in Carroll County. You said he had a long record for assaults and destruction of property. His last conviction was over 14 years ago. He only had two arrests, and from those incidents numerous charges were placed against him and, all but one were dismissed. Police do have a tendency to add additional charges to a single incident. It's called stacking the deck against the person.

            How many arrests do you have? Like I said, what is on that site on the internet sometimes does not match the records that the courts keep. If by chance a name is mispelled, you will never find it on the internet website. To get an accurate background check there are more reliable ways. Like I said, assault is assault no matter how old the charges are. Some times, people never change and stick to the same behavior. This man could attack anybody, not just the police. Lock him up. Don't have to worry about it anymore. Keep him in Virginia with you Windy.

              I got it from the Maryland Judicial website (public records) where they list all courts District and Circuit for all counties. I don't know where you got your information from, but I would think the court website was accurate.

    The only mistake made was that Officer Lethcoe didn't shoot him. I would have. I hope he has a nice boyfriend in prison. Or better yet, let him out - maybe he will try again and give someone a target.... What scum.

    Reading the events in this story, it leads me to a question:

    From paragraph 6: Courtney tried to regain control of the baton, but found himself on his back with Burrell straddling him, the complaint states.
    "Burrell ripped the baton from Courtney's grip," raised the baton over his head and was about to hit Courtney .....

    How could Burrell rip it from Courtney's grip IF Courtney didn't have control of it since it says Courtney TRIED to REGAIN CONTROL of the baton. It sounds like Burrel had it the whole time but YET Burrel ripped it from Courtney's grip?

    The story doesn't add up according to the criminal complaint signed by Detective Sgt. Jason A. Ryman, DOES IT?

    If what is in the complaint is challenged in court, he might get off by the conflicting statements. No?

      John - "Regain control of the baton" could easily mean that they both had their hands on it and hence, neither had "control". It could then subsequently have been ripped from Courtney's hands, giving Burrell sole control. Regardless, I don't think that statement will matter much as it certainly doesn't contradict anything either way. Whether Burrell ripped the baton from Courtney's hands or pulled it directly out of his belt, doesn't change the fact that he then attempted to beat the man in the head with it.

    There is definitely something wrong with this man. Last time (and perhaps previous times in Maryland) he was imprisoned and then released. That obviously didn't work. Now they're going to imprison him again. Eventually he will be released again. Anyone see a disturbing pattern here? How about getting him properly diagnosed and treated for his illness? Have we lost all compassion for people with mental illnesses?

    You said nothing that supports attemted capital murder charges. Yes I read the 2010 part. Yes I know he has assault convictions. Yes I know it was a Police Officer. Yes I know he most likely will get some substantial time from this incident. Nothing you speak of has any bearing of whether he tried to murder a policeman or not. You say charges will stick because he was not granted bond. I guess you mean charges will turn to convictions because no bond? Well nobody charged with attempted capital murder gets bond and that is no solid indication on guilt or innocence. So whatever challenged logic you have used to form the opinion he will get convicted of attempted capital murder, so be it. Funny thing I have noticed here at this site is the ignorant routinely accuse others of being ignorant. When this case is decided I will bring this thread back up and we will see who was right! Hope you are a better soldier than a thinker.

    I have been following this case since the beginning. I find it interesting how each time it is in the paper the events change as to how it happened. Why is that's? I also sat in the courtroom last week when the officers were on the stand, again events don't match up.

    It's just gonna be another plea agreement . The da knows they can't find him guilty of the charges against him . So what he should be charged with he will pled guilty to .. Pay attention ppl that's the way the system works ,dosen't matter if it's A minor offence or murder. That's the way the game is played .

    Mr. Burrell is lucky he wasn't shot.

    you know howboutthehotel every single article I try and read on here has some dumb comment from you. It's sad I want to read the paper edition just so I dont have to read your ignorant comments. You have something to say about EVERYTHING! and to say you hope someone is a better solider than a thinker is kind of stupid in its own right. You dont even have a clue about being a solider OR a thinker hence why you respond to every article because it seems you have no life but anyway I have a 4 year degree in criminal justice and work in law enforcement and what the suspect did by law is attempted capital murder and can be convicted as such in the Commonwealth of Virginia, the state you always seem to bad mouth. now some of the other variables that other people have brought up such as conflicting stories in police reports yes but for you to believe that this case is being tried in the newspaper is an insult to the justice system that protects you. It just seems you are condoning the fact of what this man did to law enforcement by your ass beating comments. Bring the thread up on me after he serves 1-2 years in the Warren County Jail before he ever goes to trial and then gets sentenced to quite a few more

    With any luck the Commonwealth's Attorney will aggressively prosecutes this man and puts him in that lovely facility Virginia has for the criminally insane - Southwestern Virginia Mental Health Institute.

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