WARREN COUNTY, Va. (DC News Now) — A grand jury indicted a sheriff’s deputy and a former sheriff’s deputy in a case related to the death of a man that took place in April 2022.
Amy Ashworth, Commonwealth’s Attorney for Prince William County and the Cities of Manassas and Manassas Park, said was appointed as special prosecutor in the case. She said Monday that the grand jury returned an indictment against former Warren County sheriff’s deputy Zachary Fadley for malicious wounding. Deputy Tyler Poe, who as of Monday still worked for the Warren County Sheriff’s Office, faces a charge of unlawful wounding.
Fadley and Poe are accused of hurting Ralph Carlton Ennis, 77, of Gainesville, Va. on April 2, 2022 when the sheriff’s office said one of the deputies saw Ennis’ pickup truck going 63 miles an hour in a 55 mph zone. The sheriff’s office said the deputy followed the truck and watched it moving erratically, swaying side to side, crossing the center line, weaving back and forth, and more.
The Warren County Sheriff’s Office said Ennis eventually stopped in the parking lot of the 7-Eleven at 251 Crooked Run Plaza. Additional deputies, as well as a Front Royal police officer, were there at that point or arriving at the convenience store.
The sheriff’s office said a deputy told Ennis to get out of his truck. He did and started walking towards deputies. Although they told him to stop, turn around, and drop his keys, the sheriff’s office said he didn’t. A deputy went up to Ennis from behind and grabbed his arms in an attempt to arrest him.
Deputies took Ennis to the rear of his pickup truck. The sheriff’s office said while they were trying to restrain Ennis, two of them and Ennis fell over the trailer hitch and that Ennis had injuries that weren’t life-threatening, including a cut to the ring finger of his right hand and a cut above his right brow.
The deputies handcuffed Ennis, sat him upright in the recovery position, and treated his head and hand wound. Deputies said Ennis was conscious and responding to medical questions prior to Warren County Fire and Rescue taking him to Warren Memorial Hospital.
While Ennis was being treated, doctors determined he was showing signs of a hemorrhage within his head. Medics took him to Winchester Medical Center for further evaluation. The medical staff at Warren Memorial Hospital also noted that Ennis was showing signs of having cognitive issues consistent with dementia or Alzheimer’s and mental health assistance was sought through Northwestern Community Services.
An investigator with the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner of Virginia contacted the sheriff’s office on April 15, 2022 to let the deputies know that died that morning under the care of Blue Ridge Hospice of Winchester, Va.
Ashworth said Monday that the men soon would appear in Warren County Circuit Court for arraignment on the charges and that a trial date would be scheduled at that time.
If convicted, Fadley faces up to 20 years in prison. Poe faces as many as five years if he is convicted.