Grimes gets time for crime

Published 8:19 pm Friday, October 18, 2019

Getting your Trinity Audio player ready...

WINDSOR – It took a Bertie County jury exactly 27 minutes to send a Martin County man to prison for at least 27 years for attacking and robbing an elderly man.

Following a recent four-day trial here in Bertie County Superior Court, the jury found 39-year-ol Elliott Lee Grimes of Jamesville guilty of seven felonies stemming from the burglary and armed robbery of Tim Bazemore, Sr. on Sept. 8, 2018.

Grimes was convicted on all counts against him – Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon, Conspiracy to Commit Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon, First Degree Burglary, Second Degree Kidnapping, Larceny of a Firearm, Safecracking, and Possession of a Firearm by a Felon. The jury also found the crimes to be aggravated due to the age of the victim.

Following the jury’s verdict, Superior Court Judge J.C. Cole sentenced Grimes to a minimum of 26.9 years in the North Carolina Department of Corrections. The maximum prison term is 37.25 years.

Grimes must spend the minimum term behind bars before he is eligible for parole.

Evidence presented by the State at trial showed that around 11 p.m. on Sept. 8, 2018, Grimes and three other individuals went to the 95-year-old victim’s home, located off NC 308 near Windsor, and forced their way into the residence. Once inside, they dragged the victim through the house, held him at gunpoint, and demanded that he open a large gun safe, where they believed there to be a substantial amount of cash.

Local District Attorney Valerie Asbell said Bazemore refused to open the safe, and Grimes and the others shoved the victim out of the way and pulled the entire safe out of the house.

“Mr. Bazemore was left on the floor, and after the robbers left, he had to crawl to a phone in order to call for help,” Asbell said.

Additional evidence showed that Grimes, joined by the other three suspects, placed the safe and five guns also stolen out of the home into Grimes’ car and drove away.

“They went to a nearby farm path where a trail camera caught them unloading the safe and attempting to pry into it,” Asbell noted.

Evidence also showed that Grimes had previously been convicted of felonious breaking and entering in Pitt County in 2013.

“I want to commend Assistant District Attorney Lisa Coltrain and Victim Legal Assistant Kalen Smallwood on a job well done,” Asbell stated. “Mrs. Coltrain is a great prosecutor and worked tirelessly to make sure that Elliott Grimes was held accountable for his crimes against Mr. Bazemore. This type of conduct is reprehensible and will not be tolerated.

“I want to thank Bertie Sheriff Holley and Lieutenant Matt Roebuck for their hard work and investigation on this case,” she added.

Coltrain, who tried the case for the State, remarked, “I am so grateful that the jury paid such close attention and saw the truth in the case. It is revolting that a crime like this could happen to someone who lived through the Great Depression, fought in World War II, and has done so much for Bertie County. I am relieved that the person capable of committing these heinous acts won’t be walking the streets until he’s an old man himself.”

The victim in the case is the father of Bertie County Commissioner Ernestine Bazemore and local businessman Tim Bazemore, Jr.

Following the trial, Commissioner Bazemore said, “My father, Timothy Bazemore, Sr. was burglarized, his home was broken into, and his possessions stolen. During the time of the crime, he was 95 years young, which left him vulnerable, and he never recovered from this, constantly thinking, ‘Will this happen again?’ On Thursday, Oct. 10, justice was served. A clear message was sent. Crime does not pay. A heartfelt thank you to the District Attorney and her staff and the Bertie County Sheriff’s Department.”

As to the other three charged in the 2018 crime, Jarkeese Rascoe of Windsor earlier pled guilty to Robbery with a Dangerous Weapon and First Degree Burglary and is currently in prison serving a 13-to-16 year sentence. Brittany Vanhorn, also of Windsor, entered the same plea as Rascoe and is currently awaiting sentencing. The trial for Salish Cooper of Windsor is set for the December term of Bertie County Superior Court.


About Cal Bryant

Cal Bryant, a 40-year veteran of the newspaper industry, serves as the Editor at Roanoke-Chowan Publications, publishers of the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald, Gates County Index, and Front Porch Living magazine.

email author More by Cal