Couple’s robbery charges go to grand jury

Richard Culley

WOODSTOCK – A grand jury will hear a case next month involving a couple charged with robbing two people at gunpoint in Strasburg on March 21.

Richard Dale Culley, 29, and Tammy Ann Culley, 28, both of Nathalie, in Halifax County, appeared in Shenandoah County General District Court on Monday for scheduled preliminary hearings to determine if probable cause exists to certify their charges to a grand jury. Both defendants, through their attorneys, waived their rights to a preliminary hearing, prompting Judge W. Dale Houff to certify the Culleys’ charges to the grand jury that meets May 9.

Richard Culley hired Front Royal attorney David Downes. Strasburg police charged Richard Culley with robbery, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, conspiracy to commit robbery and possession of a firearm by a person previously convicted of a violent felony.

Brad Pollack represents Tammy Culley, who was charged by Strasburg police with robbery, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and conspiracy to commit robbery. Both defendants are being held without bond at Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail.

Pollack asked Houff to grant his client’s release on bond. Tammy Culley testified that she suffers from bipolar disorder but recently stopped taking her medication. She said the Middle River Regional Jail, where the couple had been held after their arrest, lost her medication. She also testified that her mother-in-law has temporary custody of the couple’s three children in their hometown in Halifax County.

Tammy Culley

Commonwealth’s Attorney Amanda Wiseley told Houff that Tammy Culley’s robbery charge comes with a presumption against bond. Wiseley pointed out that a judge has issued a protective order prohibiting Tammy Culley from contacting her children without supervision. The prosecutor also mentioned that the alleged robbery involved one of the defendants wearing a bulletproof vest.

Strasburg police officers responded to the area of 221 S. Loudoun St. at approximately 12:30 a.m. March 21 for a reported robbery. The suspects fled the scene before officers arrived. The two adult male victims reported that the suspects brandished a firearm and demanded the men give up their cellphones and cigarettes, according to information from the Police Department.

Staunton police found the suspects’ vehicle in the parking lot of the Stonewall Jackson Hotel the afternoon of March 21. Officers arrested the couple without incident.