Delivered Wednesday morning from the county lockup to Waynesboro court for a bench trial, Rodney Wallace Jr. made a last-minute change.

“Mr. Wallace is now asking for a jury,” said defense attorney Mike Hallahan.

The request, and subsequent decision to spread the four charges across three days, spurred Judge Humes J. Franklin Jr. to schedule a spring trial three-peat for the Wallace. In the new sequence of events, three juries will hear parts of Wallace’s case on April 19, 20 and 27.

Authorities in September arrested Wallace, 23, of Waynesboro, after an Interstate 64 police chase that ended with Wallace ramming a 1992 Honda Accord into a police cruiser in Albemarle County, authorities said. Police said initial calls about Wallace came when he and another man, Devin Flora, 18, of Waynesboro, were seen pushing a 51-year-old woman in the Sheetz parking lot and snatching her purse.

The men got away, but surfaced again at another Sheetz, this time in Fishersville, for a similar purse snatching, authorities said. 

Waynesboro police issued a bulletin for the Honda Accord, which was spotted by a Virginia State Police trooper traveling east on Interstate 64 near mile marker 106, authorities said. Wallace made it to mile marker 116 before he was stopped and arrested, police said.

Waynesboro authorities charged Wallace with robbery, breaking and entering, grand larceny and fraud.

An Augusta County grand jury is scheduled to hear his other charges April 25.

An Albemarle Circuit Court judge in December convicted Wallace of driving under the influence and felony eluding. He was sentenced to two years in jail. 

Flora is due in Waynesboro Circuit Court May 5. He faces charges of robbery, breaking and entering, grand larceny and obtaining money by false pretenses.

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