Suspect charged with attempted murder after assault, deputies say

Derrick Berry (Source: McDowell County Sheriff's Office)

MCDOWELL CO., N.C. (WSPA) — Deputies say a suspect in sex assault on a woman is facing more charges.

Derrick M. Berry, 52, of Marion, was originally charged with one count each of forcible second-degree sex offense and attempted forcible second-degree rape.

On Tuesday, a deputy with the McDowell County Sheriff’s Office filed an additional charge of attempted murder.

“The attempted murder charge is based on the nature of the victim’s injuries and information we gathered during the investigation,” Capt. Shannon Smith said in a statement.

Berry and the 64-year-old female victim were at the Pizza Joint during the early morning hours of Sept. 24. A man gave them a ride to a location on Arrowhead Trail where deputies say Berry assaulted and tried to rape the woman.

The victim escaped from Berry and was able to get help from a passing driver.

She was treated for her injuries at Memorial Mission Hospital in Asheville.

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