Brother of beating victim speaks out

Posted at 7:38 PM, Jan 27, 2012
and last updated 2012-01-29 18:53:09-05

POWHATAN, Va. (WTVR) - It’s going  to be a long road to recovery, but her family is vowing to stick by her every step of the way. That’s what relatives of the woman beaten in her Powhatan home tells CBS 6 News.

New details are emerging about the brutal crime that happened Wednesday night on Academy Road.  James Wolfe Sr. has been arrested for the crime.

Court documents reveal police responded to a call about a fire and possible abduction.  When they got to the Academy Road home, they reported that the person who lived in the home had been found in Chesterfield County.

She told police she had been beaten and abducted by a masked man who entered her home. When police got there, it was on fire.

The suspect is alleged to have propped a small ladder under a window of the victim’s home  to gain access. She was inside watching television at the time.

Once inside, the terror began. Authorities believe the suspect beat the woman with a meat cleaver. He allegedly demanded her purse, money, jewelry and medication. Neighbors are floored by the news.

“It just goes to show you how crazy people are. There are some people out here who do that kind of thing” said a neighbor who lives within walking distance of the woman’s home.

The search warrant also details the brutal crime. The victim told police her attacker got angry when she said she only had six dollars. He then allegedly pulled her outside, set her living room on fire and demanded that she wait in the driveway while he walked across the street to get his car.

The victim told police he threatened to shoot her if she ran. She reported he drove her to an ATM and forced her to withdraw four hundred dollars at a Village Bank in Midlothian.

She reported to police that the suspect threatened her life numerous times and she begged for him to let her go. He ultimately let her go at Midlothian Turnpike and Johnston Willis Drive.

The victim’s brother says they’re grateful someone stopped to help. He says his sister, a Powhatan County school teacher is now suffering from a number of head and facial injuries and she also has a broken arm.

Despite the brutal attack, she was able to give police a description of the car.  Not long after the victim was dropped off on the side of the road, documents show police got a call about a man entering a Sheetz convenience store on Midlothian.  The man was seen with blood on him. When police got to the store they were able to see a man driving a black sedan on surveillance footage.

The store employee, according to court documents stated the suspect appeared to have blood on him and paid for his items with a blood twenty dollar bill.

Warrants show the black Chevrolet Impala had Maryland license plates and police issued a be on the lookout alert. Later they located the car off state route 307 in Amelia County.

A search warrant reveals James Lee Wolfe, Sr. was driving the car at the time and appeared to have blood on his clothing.  Officers also  found items belonging to the victim inside the car, including her wallet and credit cards, a bag with jewelry in it and medicine bottles with the victim’s name on it.

There was also a rental car contract in Wolfe’s name. Wolfe was taken into custody and the officer who viewed the convenience store surveillance footage noted that the man they had in custody was the same person on the video.

In court Friday during his arraignment, Wolfe was given a court appointed attorney. He’s charged with aggravated malicious wounding, breaking and entering, robbery and abduction.

He remains in jail without bond. He goes back to court on March 16th for a preliminary hearing.  Loved ones are struggling to make sense of it all. They say the victim, a special needs teacher in Powhatan has a huge heart and comes from a family of teachers.

Her brother, a teacher himself tells CBS 6 “She’s the one who’s always thinking of other people and putting others first.  She has a warm spot in her heart for helping other people. She is recovering now, but it’s going to take some time to fully recover from this. But, she’s strong. Stronger than I am.”

Through his tears, he explained that their family is rallying around her and they are grateful for the concern that the community has shown during this difficult time.

Stay with CBS 6 for updates on this story.