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Sears Back In Custody After 3 Week Manhunt

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The search for a Greenbrier County man who escaped from home confinement has ended. On Tuesday, Nov. 17, Kip Aaron Sears, 32, of Phyllis Ann Drive in Lewisburg, was arrested after a manhunt that lasted nearly three weeks.

On November 2, the Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Department took to social media requesting the public’s help in locating two escapees; Sears, as well as Brandon Gregory Keeney. Keeney was captured on November 8.

The social media post said, “Good afternoon everybody. Here we go again, this time we are going to do a double feature on individuals that decided to make unapproved changes to their home confinement conditions. We have politely asked that they stop doing this, but these individuals obviously didn’t care. Both of these individuals now have active warrants for their arrest for the crime of fleeing.”

The circumstances surrounding Sears’ confinement began back on January 7 of this year. That evening, the Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Department was dispatched to a home on Brush Road in Lewisburg in response to a 911 call regarding a gunshot wound. According to the criminal complaint, a minor had been shot in the leg, and that the alleged shooter had fled in a dark colored vehicle. Once on the scene, officers applied a tourniquet to the minor’s leg while they awaited the arrival of emergency medical personnel. The minor was taken to a medical center in Roanoke, where a spent .380 round was removed from the victim’s leg.

According to the criminal complaint, the victim’s father advised officers that the suspect (alleged to be Sears) pulled into the driveway and began shouting “where is David and Ashley?”

The victim’s father informed the suspect that he did not know any David or Ashley, and that the suspect needed to leave immediately. The suspect then allegedly fired four rounds into the house, one of which went through the window and struck the minor. All shell casings found as evidence after the shooting were discharged from a .380 caliber handgun.

Two days later, on January 9, the complaint states that the Greenbrier County Sheriff’s office received reports that Sears and another man had been heard “bragging” that they were the two individuals responsible for shooting the minor.

On Friday, January 17, Sears was arrested at a residence on Ike Clark Circle in Lewisburg after officers located him while attempting to serve an unrelated warrant on another individual. Sears was found in a shed on the property after attempting to run when he noticed the officers at the residence. Sears also had warrants outstanding for unpaid child support. At the time of his arrest, Sears allegedly informed officers that he had a loaded Smith & Wesson .380 Bodyguard pistol in his back pocket. According to the criminal complaint, along with the pistol, officers also discovered 12.23 grams of methamphetamine, nine diazepam pills and two and a half suboxone pills on Sears’ person. In addition, the complaint states that Sears was in possession of $1,333 in cash.

After his arrest, Sears was taken to the Lewisburg Sheriff’s office for a video-recorded interview. During this interview, the criminal complaint states that officers gained enough evidence to confirm their suspicions that Sears was involved with illegal drug distribution.

Sears was arrested again on January 25 at the same residence on Ike Clark Circle in Lewisburg. This time, Sears was arrested on several felony warrants, including possession with intent to distribute. According to the criminal complaint, a search of Sears performed by officers revealed a large bag of a crystal-like substance, later confirmed to be 82 grams of methamphetamine.

Then on April 13, Sears was arrested once again. During a traffic stop conducted on Grand Avenue in Lewisburg where Sears was the front-seat passenger, he was allegedly in possession of a Jimenez Arms 9mm handgun, a Mossberg Maverick Model 88 12 gauge shotgun (reportedly found in a sock) and another single-shot shotgun.

Sears has a 2015 felony conviction in the Federal Southern District Court of West Virginia for a drug-related offense.

At the time of his arrest on April 13, Sears was also allegedly found to be in possession of $2,103 in cash rolled up in his pockets, as well as two diazepam pills, two grams of methamphetamine, one gram of tar heroin and two unused baggies.

It has been confirmed by the Greenbrier County Sheriff’s office that Sears escaped his home confinement by cutting himself free of the court-ordered GPS tracking unit.

In an update to their original social media posting, the Greenbrier County Sheriff’s Department stated, “On Tuesday, November 17, 2020, Kip Sears was taken into custody by Greenbrier County law enforcement. As always we appreciate all the tips provided!”

Kip Aaron Sears is currently being held in Southern Regional Jail on no less than 14 different felony charges. No bond is currently permitted.

Sears was indicted by the Greenbrier County Grand Jury in October on charges of: possession with intent to deliver a controlled substance – methamphetamine (2 counts), prohibited person in possession of a firearm (2 counts), concealed firearm by a felon, wanton endangerment involving a firearm (x4), assault during the commission of a felony, deliver a controlled substance – methamphetamine.

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