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Courts and Crime

  • Craigslist sex ad pleas

        Jennifer Anne Bandy-Mitchell, 23, of Roanoke, entered guilty pleas, Tuesday, to abduction and malicious wounding charges that stem from a response to an online personal ad she ran for sex that turned violent.
        According to Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Wes Nance, Matthew William Caruso responded to a personal ad Bandy-Mitchell ran on Craigslist for casual sex, arriving at a home in Bedford County near the town of Bedford on July 22, 2015.

  • Welch trial set for October

        The capital murder trial against Lloyd Lee “Michael” Welch Jr., 59, is expected to take three to four weeks and is set to begin Oct. 18.

  • Smith sentenced on drug, neglect charges

        Michael Anthony Smith, whose wife is spending more than 50 years in prison for killing their child, will spend four years in prison on charges that came about as a result of that death investigation.
        Smith, 27, who cooperated with authorities in the prosecution of his wife, Shana Marie Witt, for killing their son two years ago, had previously pleaded guilty to a felony count of conspiracy to manufacture meth and two counts of child neglect.

  • Salem man faces malicious wounding charges

    A former employee of Sonic in Bedford has been arrested for breaking into the fast-food restaurant.
        Cedric Choe Noell, 29, is also facing charges of embezzlement from the restaurant.
        According to Lt. Shannon Walker of the Bedford Police Department, officers responded to a call Monday at 6:30 a.m. about the break in, which had been discovered by one of the restaurant’s managers who had arrived to open the store.

  • Thaxton man sentenced for breaking into churches

        A Thaxton man will spend four years in prison for breaking into two Thaxton churches last May.
        Cody Nicolas Beverly, 23,  pleaded guilty last November to the two charges, along with a trespassing charge. Last Friday Judge James Updike sentenced Beverly to 10 years in prison, suspended after serving four years.
        While in prison, Beverly will be ordered to go through the Department of Corrections Therapeutic Behavior Program.

  • County man allegedly shoots at officer

        A Bedford County man faces a number of charges following a pursuit in Bedford County last Tuesday, Jan. 19.

        An investigation conducted by the Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Salem Field Office has resulted in George L. Chasson being charged with one felony count of attempted capital murder of a police officer and one felony count of shooting from an occupied vehicle.
        Chasson, 34, continues to be held without bond at the Bedford County Adult Detention Center.

  • Ware slow on restitution payments

        “I will never be in this court again,” Tony Ware promised Judge James Updike when he appeared in Bedford County Circuit Court when he was sentenced on April 10, 2013, on embezzlement charges. 

  • Jury: 12 years on forcible sodomy conviction

        After finding 50-year-old Arthur Franklin Monday guilty of one count of forcible sodomy on a girl under the age of 12 years old, a Bedford County jury recommended last Wednesday he receive 12 years on the conviction.
        The eight-woman, four-man jury found Monday guilty on one count of forcible sodomy involving one victim. The jury found him not guilty on two separate counts involving a second girl.

  • Counterfeit bills making rounds in Bedford

        Between October and December the Bedford Police Department had 10 cases of counterfeit money being passed in the town. The department is seeking area residents’ help in identifying people who may have information about the incidents.

        Pictures of two people the police department wants to talk to have been posted on the town’s Facebook page.
        Bedford Police Chief Todd Foreman said most of the counterfeit bills have been 50s and 100s, along with some 20s.

  • Indecent liberties conviction yields five day sentence

        A 40-year-old Forest man pleaded no contest to taking indecent liberties with a 7-year-old girl last March, resulting in a five-year sentence with all but five days suspended.
        Christopher Johnson, who has some intellectual disabilities and a speech impediment, was found guilty by Circuit Court Judge James Updike during a plea hearing Friday.