A man received a lengthy prison sentence after a jury in Wilkes Superior Court convicted him late Thursday morning of several charges arising from a Nov. 9, 2018, domestic disturbance on Falls Road in Moravian Falls.
After a three-day trial, Adam Wayne Eller, 37, was convicted of several felonies, including two counts of habitual breaking and entering, larceny, hit and run causing bodily injury, larceny of a motor vehicle and habitual violation of a domestic violence protection order. He was also convicted of two misdemeanors: damage to real property and damage to personal property.
Jurors acquitted Eller of two misdemeanor counts of assault on a female. In addition, the jury convicted him of the lesser-included offense of breaking and entering instead of first-degree burglary.
Eller was sentenced by Judge Michael D. Duncan to a total of not less that 11 nor more than 16 years and 10 months in prison. The lower sentence must be served without possibility of parole.
This is in addition to a more than nine-year prison term Eller received June 5 on a conviction for felony assault inflicting serious bodily injury. That came from a case in which he beat a man severely with his fists at a convenience store.
On Nov. 9, deputies with the Wilkes Sheriff’s Department were called to a residence on Falls Road around 9:10 p.m.
Samantha Nicole Smithey told Deputy Brandon Robinson that Eller knocked on the door and asked to be allowed in the home a short time before she called 911. Eller was denied entry due to his history of violence against Smithey and her family.
Witnesses testified that Eller was demanding to see his 2-year-old son, who was sleeping in a bedroom at the home. The date of this incident was his son’s birthday.
Smithey’s parents, Alfred and Emma Smithey, who also live at the Falls Road residence, were there when deputies arrived. Eller had surrendered parental rights to his and Smithey’s son, said Robinson.
Alfred Smithey testified Wednesday afternoon that Eller, drunk and likely high on drugs, kicked open the front door, came inside the home and said he was going to take his son. He also threatened to kill everyone there. Smithey said Emma and Samantha Smithey pushed Eller out of the house.
Eller then got into a Honda Civic he had stolen earlier in the day from his mother’s High Rock Road home and “spun up the yard,” Alfred Smithey said. Eller also ran into a concrete picnic table.
Emma Smithey got in her Buick LeSabre to follow Eller on Falls Road, but Eller put his vehicle in reverse and rammed the Buick, according to testimony. The impact did severe damage to the Buick’s engine and caused the airbags to deploy, Alfred Smithey said.
Eller, holding a tire iron, punched Emma Smithey in the face as she got out of her car, witnesses said.
Samantha Smithey pulled the keys from the Honda’s ignition and threw them into a pasture across the road, Alfred Smithey said. Eller tackled Samantha Smithey and punched her in the face before fleeing the scene on foot.
Eller was later arrested by deputies at a home on Walshtown Road in Boomer.
Emma Smithey was taken to Wilkes Medical Center, where she was treated and released.
Prior to sentencing, Assistant District Attorney Matthew Leach, prosecuting for the state, told Duncan that Eller “is a career criminal and a violent career criminal.”
“The people he hurts are family members and friends,” Leach said, asking Duncan to give Eller as much prison time as possible.
Eller’s criminal record includes past convictions for first-degree burglary, possession of schedule II drugs (a felony), communicating threats, assault on a female and multiple convictions for violating a domestic protection order.
“A lot of things I did do and a lot of things I didn’t do,” Eller said of his criminal record prior to sentencing. He said the man he assaulted at the convenience store had “molested my daughter.”
“I can’t change it now,” Eller said. “There ain’t no justice in this… county.”
Attorney Davy Foster, who represented Eller at trial, said during the sentencing hearing that his client had just wanted to see his son on his birthday. He noted that Eller didn’t take the child and didn’t hurt anyone while inside the residence.
The incident only resulted in “a short emergency room visit and property damage,” Foster told the judge.