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Courts and Crime

  • Ball faces criminal charges

        The Rev. Joshua Ball, pastor of Grace House, Bedford’s now closed homeless shelter, is now facing criminal charges.
        According to Bedford Police Chief Todd Foreman, Ball was arrested on warrants for assault and issuing a bad check.
        The arrest warrant for assault was obtained by a 21-year-old male who alleged that he had gone to see Ball and that Ball was angry with him and hit him. Foreman   said  citizens may obtain warrants by providing probable cause to a magistrate.

  • Welch trial delayed until September

    Because of considerable new evidence filed in the capital murder case of Lloyd Lee Welch Jr., the trial date has been rescheduled from April 18 to Sept. 12.

        The rescheduling of the trial was approved during a motions hearing in Bedford Circuit Court Friday afternoon. Also during the hearing, Judge James Updike approved a defense motion request to hire a DNA expert—Dr. Thomas McClintock of Liberty University—at an expected cost of $21,000.
        The prosecution has listed a number of DNA experts as possible witnesses.

  • Charges reduced

    Two men saw felony charges reduced to misdemeanors in Circuit Court, Tuesday. Both were the result of plea agreements.

  • Bedford County Circuit Court cases

    By Emily Scruggs
    Intern Writer
    news@bedfordbulletin.com

    Kendahl Renee Barker

  • Court rules on motions hearings

        Bedford County Circuit Court Judge James Updike heard motions from defense attorneys, Tuesday, to keep certain items from being presented as evidence when their clients go to trial.
        One set of motions involved  Christopher William Petersen, of Hardy, who is facing a charge of attempted second degree murder. His defense attorney wanted to keep two photographs from being introduced as evidence saying that they were not necessary for the Commonwealth to prove its case and would prejudice a jury against their client.

  • Grand jury indicts Bedford County shelter worker charged with animal cruelty

        A worker at the Bedford County Animal Shelter has been indicted with felony animal cruelty, in connection with injuries to a cat that led it to have to be euthanized.

        Bryan Thomas Skinnell, 44, of Bedford, was arrested Sept. 26 of last year 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. A Bedford County grand jury indicted him on the charge Friday.

  • Man sentenced for case in which he hid his dead grandmother in a barrel

        Acting United States Attorney Rick A. Mountcastle announced the sentencing of a Vinton man who previously pleaded guilty to stealing funds from the Social Security Administration, while hiding his dead grandmother in a barrel.

  • Salem man arrested for stealing truck

        At 8:05 a.m. February 2, the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office received a call from the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office.
        According to a report from the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office, the dispatcher advised they had received a call from a man who said he was behind a truck that had been stolen from Old Station Loop, Hardy in Bedford County. The caller stated that he worked for the company in Rocky Mount that   owned  the  truck and the white male driving it did not work for the company.

  • Hale receives 20 year sentence in abduction case

        Three months after abducting a Bedford County woman the first time, Willard Wayne Hale abducted the same woman again, causing numerous injuries to his victim. He will spend 11 years in prison as a result.
        Hale, 32, received 20 years in prison with nine years suspended on charges related to those actions, including two abduction charges, a malicious wounding charge and a bad check charge. He received one year jail sentences on misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and assault and battery.

  • Rape charges dismissed

        Rape and forcible sodomy charges against Christopher Morgan Pannell, 44, of Moneta, were dismissed after a bench trial Tuesday in Bedford County Circuit Court.
        The rape charge stemmed from a night of drinking and drugs on June 21. According to testimony, Cody Cox and Pannell picked up his accuser at her grandmother’s home that evening. She had  admitted to  a  romantic relationship with Cox that ended nine months earlier. Pannell had never seen her before.