Second defendant indicted in violent IHOP robbery

Zachary Marquess

FRONT ROYAL – A Warren County Circuit Court grand jury has indicted the second of two defendants charged in a robbery that left an assistant restaurant manager with injuries that required hospitalization.

Authorities accuse Zachary S. Marquess, 22, of 366 W. 11 St., Front Royal, of plotting to rob John P. Vallerie, the assistant manager of the IHOP restaurant at 135 Crooked Run Plaza Road in Front Royal. Both defendants were employed at IHOP at the time of the robbery, although Marquess was the only one working on the night of the crime.

Vallerie suffered a possible broken nose, a cut and bruises to the head and scrapes to his back when a masked man entered the building and attacked him with a baseball bat at about 4:24 a.m. on May 11.

Warren County Sheriff’s Office officials say the masked man hit Vallerie with the aluminum bat and took an estimated $5,000 to $6,000 from the safe after Vallerie agreed to open it. The robber then dragged Vallerie toward the rear of the restaurant kitchen and placed him in a freezer before leaving the premises, investigators say.

Authorities linked Marquess to co-defendant Brandon Scott Williams, 28, of 1409 Belmont Ave., Front Royal, through a series of text messages found on a cell phone recovered at the crime scene.

The phone contained text messages transmitted between Williams and Marquess from 12:46 p.m. to 4:36 a.m. in the hours before the robbery, authorities say.

A criminal complaint written by Investigator Brandon Darr states that Marquess “texted info to Brandon informing him of the assistant manager’s location in the office. Zach and Brandon also texted about the victim being tied up in the freezer as well as utilizing a baseball bat during the assault. Money was also discussed in the text messages as well as its location in the office.”

Marquess was indicted Monday on two counts of robbery. Marquess and Williams are being held without bond in the Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Brian Madden said he had no new information to report about the case.

“A standard order for discovery was entered,” Madden said of Monday’s hearing.

Contact staff writer Joe Beck at 540-465-5137 ext. 142, or jbeck@nvdaily.com