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Motel standoff case heads to grand jury

July 14th, 2011 12:10 am by Becky Campbell

A Bristol, Va., couple reportedly involved in a standoff with police at a Johnson City motel will go to criminal court to face charges related to the incident last month.
Shawn W. Sykes, 42, and his wife, Robin Sykes, 43, had preliminary hearing Wednesday before a judge bound the case over to a grand jury.
The Sykeses were arrested June 3 after an 11-hour standoff at Motel 6 on Mountcastle Drive. U.S. Marshals located Shawn Sykes’ vehicle outside the motel and several law enforcement agencies converged to the scene.
Shawn Sykes was charged with a fugitive from justice warrant, civil disorder, manufacturing methamphetamine, simple possession, resisting arrest, vandalism, attempted arson and reckless endangerment.
Robin Sykes was charged with a fugitive from justice warrant, resisting arrest and promotion of methamphetamine.
Prosecutors dismissed the fugitive warrants and after hearing evidence in the case, General Sessions Judge James Nidiffer bound most of the charges over to a grand jury. The manufacturing meth charge against Shawn Sykes was amended to promotion of methamphetamine.
Robin Sykes’ defense attorney, Stephanie Sherwood, asked Nidiffer to dismiss her client’s resisting arrest on the basis that the state didn’t prove the charge and actually showed her client had attempted to leave the room.
Nidiffer granted that motion.
Federal officers were looking for the couple after they were accused in Bristol, Va., of hitting an officer their with a vehicle.
State prosecutors presented several officers as witnesses who were at the scene and involved in negotiating with Sykes and in the apprehension.
According to Sherwood, one officer testified the couple was “huddled in a corner” of the motel room when tactical officers swarmed into the room.
During the hours prior to officers taking the couple down, Shawn Sykes had claimed he had combustible materials — lighter fluid, Draino and lithium strips — at the room door.
S.W.A.T. members used water to initiate their entrance into the room by way of a fire hose. The couple was arrested without further incident.
They remain jailed in the Washington County Detention Center and will appear in Criminal Court at a later date.

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