Courts and Crime

  • Shelter worker charged with animal cruelty

        A worker at the Bedford County Animal Shelter has been charged with felony animal cruelty, in connection with injuries to a cat that led it to have to be euthanized.
        Bryan Skinnell, 43, of Bedford County, was arrested Sept. 26 on the charge following the investigation of a complaint that was filed  on Aug. 10. Skinnell’s employment at the shelter was terminated after he was charged.

  • Aponte sentence upheld

        Bedford Circuit Court Judge James Updike, upheld the nine year, six month sentence a jury imposed on Emily Lynn Aponte, 32, during a hearing Tuesday.

        Aponte had been convicted on charges that included involuntary manslaughter and DUI, the result of a crash that occurred in Bedford County on April 26, 2014, that killed her 6-year-old son, Ethan, who was riding with her. The head on collision also injured the driver of the vehicle that hit her after she swerved into his lane.

  • Florida man sentenced for armed robbery of Forest sonic

        A Florida man was sentenced Tuesday in Bedford County Circuit Court to 16 years in prison for the armed robbery of a Sonic in Forest on Feb. 8, 2014.
        Matthew Edward Kukulski, 28, had two weeks earlier robbed the home of his mother and step father. Among the items taken were four firearms. Two of these firearms were used by him and an accomplice in the armed robbery of the Sonic. His accomplice, Caitlin Williams, was sentenced last year, according to Commonwealth’s Attorney Wes Nance.

  • 18 year old in custody following shooting, manhunt

    A shooting incident in the Thaxton area has ended with an 18-yearold in custody, without incident, according to the Bedford County Sheriff's Office.

    No citizens or law enforcement officers were injured during this event. One report stated the suspect had suffered a minor injury.

    The manhunt led to some roads being closed and schools going on lockdown in the Wheatland Road area of the county.

    The Sheriff's Office will release more information later this afternoon.

  • Catfishing scam targets local residents

        “I loved him…he was very kind, very respectful, and said I was to be cherished.”
        One Virginia woman has lost $9,000, while another was asked to send $65,000, in a sophisticated love scheme that is targeting area users of a popular dating website.
        In a scam known as ‘Catfishing’ a man pretending to live in Roanoke is using a false identity on Match.com and tricking legitimate users out of thousands of dollars.

  • Hardy man faces attempted 2nd degree murder charge

        Charges against a Hardy man for attempted second degree murder will go to a Bedford County grand jury following a preliminary hearing in General District Court Aug. 17.

        Christopher W. Petersen, 29, has been  charged with attempted second degree murder and assault and battery. Judge Lee Stilwell certified the charge against Petersen.
        Just after midnight on May 27 Bedford County 911 dispatchers received a call to the 1100 block of Oyler Road in Hardy.

  • Woman killed in early morning shooting
  • Korczynski pleads guilty to meth charges

        Jessica Suzanne Korczynski will be able to avoid a felony conviction if she remains on good behavior for the next year and follows terms set down in Court by Judge James Updike Friday afternoon.
        Korczynski pleaded guilty to possession of methamphetamine and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The contributing to the delinquency of a minor charge stems from the fact that she had meth in the house at the same time her child was there.

  • Soering claims he should be let out of prison

        Major Ricky Gardner isn’t changing his views on the guilt of convicted double-murderer Jens Soering, no matter what Soering’s lawyer may argue.
        “Mr. (Steven) Rosenfield’s announcement this week does not change the status of Jens Soering’s conviction. In fact, these results have been publicly known for several years,” Gardner said of disputed blood evidence in the case.

  • Former Bedford Police officer to serve 5 years

        Brian McAlexander completed his fall from police lieutenant to convicted felon Tuesday morning in Bedford County Circuit Court.

        According to a plea agreement between McAlexander and Virginia Assistant Attorney General Samuel Gene Fishel, McAlexander pleaded guilty to one charge of distributing child pornography.
        Four other child porn charges were not prosecuted as part of the agreement. Though the charges weren’t prosecuted, the defendant could later be re-indicted on the same charge.

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