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Courts and Crime

  • Grubbs pleads guilty

        Although Ernest Grubbs pleaded guilty, Friday, to five felony counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor, he was released from jail that evening.

  • FHS student arrested for threat

        On Monday, Dec. 17, a Jefferson Forest High School student, 15, was arrested for making a threat against another student who attends a school outside of Bedford County.

  • Davis pleads no contest

        A 32-year-old man will spend 22 years in prison for the rape of an 11-year-old girl.
        Last week Ernest Walter Davis, of Bedford, pleaded no contest to the charge in Bedford County circuit court.
         Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Wes Nance said that the rape occurred on Aug. 11, 2011. The girl had spent the night at the apartment of the grandmother of a friend. What the girl’s family did not know is that the grandmother had a drinking problem.

  • Former Kroger employee receives suspended sentence

        An Evington woman, who pleaded guilty in September to 15 counts of embezzlement while working at Kroger, received a suspended sentence in the case during a hearing Friday in Bedford County Circuit Court.

        All eight felony counts were dropped against Jennifer Elaine Johns; she was only found guilty of seven misdemeanor counts. She received six months on each conviction, for a total of 42 months, all of which was suspended.

  • Fuel taken from two churches

        The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the larceny of fuel oil from two county churches.
        On Saturday, Dec. 1 Beaver Dam Baptist Church, 10665 Stewartsville Rd., reported fuel oil missing from the church’s  oil  tank  located behind the church. On Friday evening, a dark color F-150 Ford truck was seen in the area of the church, according to a release from the BCSO.

  • Thieves target churches

        Baby Jesus was missing, but arrests in his theft were imminent Tuesday afternoon.
        A crime stoppers tip had led investigators to as many as five suspects alleged to have been involved with taking figurines from a Nativity scene at a Forest church this week, according to Major Ricky Gardner of the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office. Recovery of the figurines had not occurred, however.

  • Appeals court upholds Earnest's murder conviction

    Staff Reports

    and Landmark
    News Service

        A three-judge panel of the Virginia Court of Appeals has affirmed the first-degree murder conviction of Wesley Earnest.
        Earnest, a former Bedford County teacher, was convicted in 2010 of killing his estranged wife, Jocelyn Earnest, and trying to make it look like a suicide.
        Tuesday’s decision by the three-judge panel upholds the life sentence that Earnest received for the crime which occurred at the couple's Forest home.

  • Plattus pleads no contest to misdemeanor embezzlement

        Dan Plattus pleaded no contest, last week in Bedford County Circuit Court, to a misdemeanor embezzlement charge, the result of his unauthorized use of a Bedford Main Street credit card for personal use.

        The plea was the result of an agreement. A no contest plea means that a defendant does not admit guilt, but agrees that there is enough evidence to convict him.

  • Caldwell sentenced to 22 years for shooting brother, nephew

        Dennis Caldwell, 56, will spend 22 years in prison for shooting his brother, Glenn Caldwell, 62, and his nephew, Michael Caldwell, 36.
        Dennis Caldwell had entered a no contest plea, on Aug. 15, to two counts of aggravated malicious wounding and two counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony. The plea was entered one year to the day of the shootings. He had shot both men multiple times with a .45 cal. semiautomatic pistol.

  • Former youth leader arrested

        A former local youth leader at a Forest church is facing a felony count for the unlawfully filming of a minor.
        Auri Christopher Collin Jones, 28, of Lynchburg was arrested Wednesday on one felony count of unlawful filming, videotaping or photographing of a minor. On Thursday, Jones was arrested on a misdemeanor count of the same charge, related to filming someone over the age of 18.