Arrest made in 2016 home invasion

Published 12:17 pm Thursday, March 4, 2021

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WINDSOR – One arrest has been made and others are pending in a 2016 home invasion case that left a Powellsville woman severely injured.

Bertie Sheriff John Holley stated that on March 2 his Investigations Division obtained arrest warrants on Travis Donte Smallwood, 30, of Ahoskie for numerous crimes he allegedly committed Nov. 3, 2016 at a home on Rockpile Road near Powellsville.

Travis D. Smallwood

Smallwood stands charged with first degree burglary, first degree kidnapping, robbery with a dangerous weapon, attempted first degree murder, assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury, three counts of safecracking, larceny of a firearm, larceny of a motor vehicle, and burning of a building.

The warrants were served in Hertford County where Smallwood is being held under a $1 million bond pending his first appearance in court. He has been jailed in Hertford County since late last year following his arrest for a Feb. 17, 2019 home invasion where he and an accomplice assaulted and robbed an elderly couple on Early Station Road.

According to a story published in the Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald on Nov. 5, 2016, Bertie deputies responded to a residence on Rockpile Road after a report of a woman found there bound, gagged, and beaten severely about her head and face.

The assailant or assailants then attempted to make off with a gun safe that was located in the residence. A metal chain was reportedly tied around the safe, securing the other end to a pickup truck owned by the victim’s husband that was located in the yard with the keys in the ignition.

However, something, or someone, distracted the robber or robbers and in their attempt to flee, the safe dislodged from the vehicle and rolled into a nearby ditch.

Shortly thereafter, the victim’s husband returned home after going to the home of his sister-in-law – who lived a short distance away on Rockpile Road – where firemen had responded to a barn fire. Upon his return, along with several of the volunteer firemen, they spied the gun safe in the ditch. One of the firemen said he heard cries for help coming from the home and when the men entered the house they found the victim covered in blood, and tied to a push-cart with her hands bound by zip-ties. She had worked herself free from a strip of duct tape covering her mouth well enough to cry out for help.

Bertie County EMS transported the woman to Vidant Roanoke-Chowan Hospital in Ahoskie where she was treated for her injuries.

During the course of the investigation, multiple suspects were developed by the efforts of Bertie County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division, Hertford County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Division and Ahoskie Police Department investigators in addition to assistance provided by the agents of the Down East Drug Task Force and the NC State Bureau of Investigations.

Sheriff Holley said additional arrests are pending.

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.

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