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Courts and Crime

  • Woman pleads guilty to DUI maiming

        Elizabeth Doris Coe pleaded guilty Tuesday, in Bedford County Circuit Court, to two counts of DUI maiming. Each charge carries a penalty of between one and five years in prison.
        The charges stemmed from a crash that occurred on May 28, at about 7 p.m. According to Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney John Wheelock, Coe had been drinking since before noon that day.

  • Pongracz sentenced for killing

    Kristina Pongracz will spend more than a decade in prison for the killing of her 77-year-old boyfriend, William Herchenrider, in May, 2010. Pongracz, now 30, was 28 at the time of the attack.

    Herchenrider died on August 25, 2010, after briefly returning home from the hospital, under Hospice care. Pongracz had been with Herchenrider for 10 years, prior to the incident in May 2010.

  • Horses’ necks slashed

    The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office is seeking information on an animal cruelty investigation in the Montvale area.  

  • Trial related to August shooting delayed

        Dennis Caldwell’s day in court to answer charges stemming from a shooting last summer, will be delayed. Judge James Updike agreed to the delay after Caldwell’s defense attorney appeared in Bedford County Circuit Court, Tuesday, to ask for a continuance.

  • Charge reduced to abduction

        When Ryland Elton Lee Jr., 51, of Bedford County had his day in court, Tuesday, he faced a reduced charge of abduction. He pleaded guilty to that charge.
        Last summer, on Aug. 13, Lee was charged for allegedly raping a female acquaintance in the county’s Body Camp area in the early hours of Aug. 13 or late on Aug. 12. In a plea agreement worked out between the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and Lee’s defense attorney, William Walker, Lee agreed to plead guilty to the abduction charge.

  • Charges certified

    Two witnesses testified at a hearing Monday that the man accused of attacking and robbing 80-year-old Bob Terry Oct. 1 of last year threatened to kill them if they told who had committed the crime.

        Eventually, however, after Jason Andrew Shell of Roanoke was arrested in Vinton on another charge, they did tell police, leading to his arrest for the Bedford County crime that outraged the Moneta community.

  • From toilet paper to tools

        This year, the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office’s pre-Christmas activities included arresting four suspects on burglary charges.

        And finding a variety of stolen items.
        A fifth suspect is still at large. According to Sheriff Mike Brown, the five have allegedly committed multiple burglaries in Bedford County since early last fall.

  • Man faces up to 25 years in prison on sex charges

        A 19-year-old Bedford man faces up to 25 years in jail after being found guilty on three sex offense charges involving two different juvenile girls.

        Jesse Lee Smith entered no contest pleas in Bedford County Circuit Court Friday to a charge of taking indecent liberties with a minor as well as for computer solicitation and carnal knowledge.
        All of the charges involve crimes that occurred in 2011.

  • Goodview man guilty of involuntary manslaughter

        A 53-year-old Goodview resident pleaded no contest Friday to the charge of involuntary manslaughter, in connection with an accident last December.
        James Scott Morrow entered his plea in circuit court in connection with the Dec. 2, 2010, accident on Goodview Road in which Morrow’s Dodge Challenger collided with a second vehicle, a 2001 Dodge Ram pickup driven by Ty Alexander Perdue of Goodview. Mack Collins Jr., a passenger in Morrow’s car,  was  killed in  the crash, leading to the charge.

  • Grand jury indicts two from shootout

        Two men have been indicted for their involvement with a shooting in Huddleston Aug. 11.

        A Bedford County Circuit Court grand jury indicted 30-year-old Michael Thomas Loboschefski of Huddleston on malicious wounding and firearms charges and Joshua Hughes, 27,  of Amherst County on involuntary manslaughter and firearms charges.