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Courts and Crime

  • Aponte in court

        A motion to suppress a blood alcohol concentration test (BAC) conducted on a woman accused of driving while drunk during an accident in which her 6-year-old son was killed was denied during a hearing Tuesday in Bedford County Circuit Court.
        Judge James Updike said there was enough probable cause and exigent circumstances to allow the test, though in essence it was a warrantless search.

  • Back in prison — this time for 15 years

        Since 1994, Larry Preston Caldwell Jr. has been in and out of court including for eight felony sentencing events – and he’s never successfully completed a term of probation before facing new charges.

    `    Caldwell, 40, will have the next 15 years in prison to think about that after being sentenced for a malicious wounding charge and a probation violation after being out of prison for only eight months on similar charges.

  • Lynchburg man will seek trial for taking knife to man’s throat

    Instead of entering a plea, the 37-year-old Lynchburg man, accused of cutting a man across his face and neck last September, is now planning to seek a jury trial, scheduled for March 29.
        Michael Dale Fitzgerald was in court last Friday afternoon for what was originally scheduled as a plea, but turned into a motions hearing to have the trial date set. Fitzgerald was arrested Sept. 28 for the alleged attack which had occurred Sept. 23.

  • 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.