Press Releases/News

< Back to news items

Shawn Wesley Irby pleads guilty to ten (10) felonies

 and one (1) misdemeanor

October 16, 2006

For Immediate Release

Lynchburg, Virginia


On October 16, 2006, 33-year old Shawn Wesley Irby pled guilty to ten (10) felonies and one (1) misdemeanor regarding a series of break-ins that occurred in the City of Lynchburg in the summer of 2004. The defendant pled guilty to five counts of Statutory Burglary, five counts of Grand Larceny, and one count of Petit Larceny. Pursuant to a plea agreement that was reached, Judge Mosby Perrow, III, sentenced the defendant to thirty-one (31) years incarceration with twenty-six (26) years and five (5) months being suspended. The defendant will serve an active sentence of four (4) years and seven (7) months for his crimes.

The facts of the cases revealed that beginning in June of 2004 and continuing through until August 2004, the defendant broke into businesses and several churches along Campbell Avenue. The defendant committed his crimes during the middle of the night and would steal computer and video equipment once he was inside the businesses and churches. The defendant pled guilty to breaking into the Heritage United Methodist Church, the Lynchburg Oil Company, Unity in the Seven Hills Church, the Lynchburg Church of God of Prophecy, and the Family Life Ministeries building. Additionally, the defendant also pled guilty to stealing hundreds of dollars of equipment from three trucks that were parked in the Barker-Jennings parking lot.

Lynchburg Police began to develop the defendant as a suspect in all of these break-ins once they recovered many of the stolen computers and video cameras from a residence on Mayflower Drive. The owner of the residence identified the defendant as the person that had brought all of the stolen computers and equipment to his residence. Lynchburg Police then spoke to the defendant's live-in girlfriend who provided police with additional information that confirmed that the defendant was the person responsible for most of the thefts. Lynchburg Police were also able to match a fingerprint found at the scene of the Family Life Ministeries building with the known fingerprints of the defendant.

As a condition of the defendant's sentence, he was ordered to be of good behavior for the next twenty (20) years. Once the defendant is eventually released from the penitentiary, should he commit further crimes, the Commonwealth may violate the defendant's probation and ask the Court to impose the balance of the suspended sentence. The defendant will be on supervised probation for two (2) years upon his release from custody. The defendant was permanently barred from ever returning to the property of the businesses and churches that he burglarized. The final condition of the plea agreement was that the defendant must pay full restitution to the businesses and churches during his period of supervised probation.

This case was prosecuted by Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Chuck Felmlee and Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Bethany Sulc.