Cops and Courts

Two in custody after carjacking, police chase

Two men were taken into custody Saturday after allegedly taking a vehicle at gunpoint and leading police on a pursuit through areas of Morgantown and Kingwood Pike.

The owner of the stolen vehicle told law enforcement he was riding in his 2015 Honda Accord with Michael Allen McHenry, 21, of Vienna, who driving the vehicle, and Garrett Alexander DeBerry, 25, of Morgantown, in the backseat.

The victim said one of the men was an acquaintance and they picked up the other man at a convenience store in Morgantown before heading toward Preston County. 

According to criminal complaints, the victim said the trio was traveling on W.Va. 7 near Greer Limestone when DeBerry and McHenry brandished firearms inside the vehicle and took the victim’s keys, wallet and cell phone before taking off toward Morgantown.

The victim said he walked along W.Va. 7 until a passerby picked him up and he was able to call 911.

At around 2:10 p.m., about 40 minutes after the car was stolen, police in Morgantown were advised to be on the lookout for the vehicle which was located within minutes of the call, in the area of Beechurst Avenue.

Several Morgantown police officers as well as Monongalia County Sheriff’s Deputy Bradley Broker attempted to stop the stolen vehicle, but the driver, McHenry, fled toward Dorsey Avenue, the complaint said.

After turning onto Avalon Drive, McHenry allegedly drove through a yard and onto Macomb Street attempting to avoid law enforcement.

Deputy Broker said he was waiting for the vehicle on Macomb Street when the driver struck the front of his cruiser then fled toward Preston County on Kingwood Pike.

The complaint said a second deputy, Deputy Martin, was waiting for the stolen Honda in the area of Kingwood Pike and Summers School Road, when he observed the vehicle pass him and activated his lights and siren in another attempt to stop the vehicle.

The vehicle did not stop, but instead continued to flee on Kingwood Pike at about 85 miles per hour, with Martin in pursuit.

McHenry then turned on to Country Breeze Drive, which is a dead end.  When the vehicle approached the end of the road, McHenry began to turn around, nearly hitting Martin’s vehicle.

The pursuit continued back out of County Breeze Drive where the complaint says Deputy Broker’s vehicle was struck a second time by the suspects.

Martin was then able to disable the vehicle in the yard of a nearby residence.

McHenry and Deberry were taken into custody without incident, and a firearm — which deputies say was within arms reach of McHenry — was located on the floorboard of the stolen vehicle.

A press release from Monongalia County Sheriff’s Department said no injuries were reported during the pursuit and Broker’s cruiser sustained moderate damage.

Along with the Mon Sheriff’s Department and MPD, Granville Police, Preston County Sheriff’s Department, and State Troopers from the Kingwood detachment also assisted.

Both men are being charged with first degree robbery with threat of deadly force and conspiracy to commit first degree robbery.  McHenry is also facing a charge for fleeing with reckless indifference.  Further charges are also pending, according to the release.

McHenry’s bond is set at $100,000 and DeBerry’s bond is set at $75,000.  Both are currently incarcerated at Tygart Valley Regional Jail and are scheduled for preliminary hearings on March 21.