Lynchburg man will serve almost 17 years in prison for assaulting seven BLue Ridge Regional jail officers and a Lynchburg police officer. Authorities say Keith Edward Moss pinned a Lynchburg Police Officer to the side of a vehicle and kicked her repeatedly when police tried to arrest him for a February 2021 convenience store robbery. When officers tried to take his fingerprints at the jail, he used a jail officer’s pepper spray to spray them, then attacked multiple Blue Ridge Regional Jail officers with a broom, a mop, and a coffee pot. The attack left two officers hospitalized and ended the career of one of them. Moss also threw food at an officer and bit one of them in the hand which required 17 stitches. In addition to the prison sentence, Moss was also ordered to pay restitution to the victims.
Here is the entire news release from the Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office:
KEITH EDWARD MOSS SENTENCED TO OVER 16 YEARS TO SERVE ON
2 COUNTS OF MALICIOUS WOUNDING,
8 COUNTS OF ASSAULT & BATTERY OF A LAW ENFORCEMENT OFFICER,
AND 1 COUNT OF OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE
After an August 4, 2022 jury found Keith Edward Moss guilty of 2 counts of Malicious Wounding of jail officers, 8 counts of Assault & Battery on Law Enforcement Officers and 1 count of Obstruction of Justice, a Lynchburg Circuit Court judge handed down Moss’ final sentence on December 21, 2022. Of the 8 counts of Assault and Battery on a Law Enforcement Officer, one count was on a Lynchburg Police Department Officer and 7 counts were on jail officers with the Blue Ridge Regional Jail. Judge F. Patrick Yeatts heard evidence from the officers during sentencing about the detrimental effects the attacks had on their lives including ending the career of one jail officer. Moss was sentenced to 2 years of incarceration on each charge of Assault and Battery on Law Enforcement with 1 year and 6 months suspended on each. Moss received 12 months of incarceration on the charge of Obstruction of Justice, a misdemeanor. For the two Malicious Wounding charges, 10 years of incarceration on each with 4 years on each suspended. The total active period of incarceration was 16 years and 12 months. Moss was also ordered to pay restitution to the victims.
The charges originated from the events of February 13, 2021 when officers with the Lynchburg Police Department responded to the FastMart2 based on a clerk’s report that two males were outside of the store, one with a firearm. Officers encountered Keith Moss at the store who matched the description of one of the suspects. When the officers approached, Moss hid behind a dumpster. The officers detained Moss in handcuffs where Moss spat at one of the officers and struggled against the detention. Ultimately, several Lynchburg Police Department Officers responded to take Moss into custody. Moss kicked at officers, continued to resist, and screamed threats and profanities at them. He pinned a Lynchburg Police Department Officer to the side of the transport vehicle and kicked her repeatedly. Moss was arrested on charges of Assault and Battery of a Law Enforcement Officer, Obstruction of Justice, and Drunk in Public, and taken to the Blue Ridge Regional Jail.
Moss continued his behavior at the Blue Ridge Regional Jail. On February 14, 2021, when three Blue Ridge Regional Jail officers attempted to complete Moss’ booking process, Moss punched jail officers in the face, chest, and arms. The following day, on February 15, 2021, Blue Ridge Regional Jail officers attempted to obtain Moss’ fingerprints and allow him to use
the phone. When Moss was released from his cell, he took a jail officer’s O.C. or pepper spray, sprayed it at the officers, then made his way into the property room where he grabbed a broom. He used the broom, a mop, and a coffee pot to attack multiple Blue Ridge Regional Jail officers. This attack resulted in two officers receiving treatment at the hospital for their injuries with one officer’s injuries so severe that he could not continue his career as a jail officer. On February 19, 2021, Blue Ridge Regional Jail officers attempted to restrain Moss after he became disorderly and threw food at an officer. Moss bit one of the officers requiring stitches to the officer’s hand.
The case was prosecuted by Senior Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Kelsey Parrish. Keith Moss chose to defend himself at trial with the assistance of court appointed stand-by counsel.
“Jail officers, like our law enforcement officers, are a vital part of the criminal justice system and willing suffer grievous injury for the safety and security of our civilized society. This jury verdict and sentence reflect the just consequences for gratuitous violence toward those who serve to protect us.”
Bethany Harrison, Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Lynchburg