Two men charged with malicious wounding

FRONT ROYAL — A pair of men, one from Middletown and the other from Front Royal, were arrested Saturday and charged with malicious wounding in a case arising from a fight over a woman.

Judge William Sharp ordered $10,000 secured bond for Travis Eugene Custer, 21, of 1228 Sulpher Springs Road, Middletown, and Rodney Lee Custer Jr., 22, of 115 Gloucester Road, Front Royal, at a hearing Monday.

Sharp cited their long time residency in the area and jobs they hold as reasons for not holding them without bail, despite the severity of the charge of malicious wounding, a class three felony.

“That means you face a possible penitentiary sentence,” Sharp told Travis Custer, adding that the range was five to 20 years.

A criminal complaint filed by Warren County deputy Robbie Lowery states that the victim, Troy Hoelcher, appeared in the lobby of the Sheriff’s Office around 10:30 p.m. Friday with blood “all over him” and a cut above his left eye.

Lowery wrote that Hoelcher told him that Travis and Rodney Custer had attacked him at 2017 Ridgeway Road after Hoelcher and his girlfriend were involved in a shoving match.

Hoelcher left the residence and then returned to pick up an item he left behind. After retrieving the item, Hoelcher heard a door slam and saw Travis Custer and another man, later identified as Rodney Custer, standing in the hallway, according to the complaint. The complaint states Travis Custer told Hoelcher “you like hitting girls,” an accusation the victim denied.

The Custers began punching Hoelcher repeatedly and pushed him into a backroom before the fight ended, according to the complaint.

Travis and Rodney Custer turned themselves in at the Sheriff’s Office on Saturday.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or

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