By Alex Bridges
WOODSTOCK -- A New Market man remains in jail after authorities say he tried to run over a sheriff's deputy Saturday.
Alan Edward Undem, 33, of 9171 N. Congress St., appeared in Shenandoah County General District Court on Monday to face a charge of attempted voluntary manslaughter. Court papers state that Undem drove a vehicle at a Shenandoah County sheriff's deputy in an attempt to kill the officer. Voluntary manslaughter is a class 5 felony.
Commonwealth's Attorney Amanda Wiseley asked Judge Lawrence Bowers to order Undem held without bond. The charge comes with a presumption against bond. Wisely said she expects to seek more charges against Undem in the case.
Bowers ordered Undem held without bond and scheduled his next court appearance for July 28. Bowers found Undem qualified for court-appointed legal counsel and appointed the Harrisonburg law office of Miner, Martin and Hahn to represent the defendant.
Deputy C.M. Grandstaff responded shortly before 10 p.m. Saturday to a domestic incident between a male and a female in the area of the basketball courts in Bryce Resort, Basye, according to a criminal complaint filed in the case. Grandstaff arrived at the scene and approached the area on foot, the complaint states. Upon doing so, a 2000 Chevrolet four-door sedan, "veered towards him into oncoming traffic in an attempt to strike him with the vehicle."
Maj. Scott Proctor said Monday that Grandstaff parked his cruiser at Resort Drive and Killmon Road because of the large crowd of people attending an event. Grandstaff turned on his emergency lights and walked toward the crowd when the car traveled toward the deputy. Grandstaff had to push off the car as the vehicle came close, Proctor said.
"It was a close call," Proctor said.
The vehicle left the area at a high rate of speed, the complaint states. Grandstaff later identified the accused as the driver of the car by way of a Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles photograph. Proctor said authorities located and arrested Undem on Sunday.
The investigation is ongoing. Proctor said Undem may face additional or revised charges. Proctor added that there may have been witnesses among the crowd at the scene. Anyone with information about the incident is asked to contact the Sheriff's Office at 459-6100.
Undem already stands charged with grand larceny from the Walmart store in Woodstock on April 19. A preliminary hearing on the charge originally scheduled for Monday was postponed until Aug. 4. Woodstock Police Officer Keith Staffa arrested Undem on the charge after Walmart reported the incident as a shoplifting. The criminal complaint filed in the case states that video footage reviewed by Staffa and a store asset protection officer showed a man, identified later as Undem, and a woman pushing a cart out the door without paying for the contents. Undem admitted to the police officer the next day that he took the items without paying. The store valued the contents at $365.54, the complaint states.
Court papers filed in Undem's case indicate the defendant has a prior record of criminal activity, including a conviction for vehicular assault in state of Washington. Undem was found guilty of the crime on Oct. 27, 2010 in Kent County Superior Court and was ordered to serve three months in jail. As reported in the Kent County Reporter, authorities there accused Undem of causing a vehicle crash in September 2010 that left him and a passenger injured. Undem at the time told authorities he had taken several prescription medications including an antidepressant prescribed for "intermittent explosive disorder." The Reporter also noted that Undem had more than a dozen arrests.
Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or email@example.com