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Courts and Crime

  • 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.

  • Welch in court Tuesday

        A Bedford Circuit Court Judge has ruled statements Lloyd Lee Welch made to investigators during a series of interviews about the disappearance of two sisters from a Maryland mall in 1975 can be used at his murder trial, scheduled for April.
        On Tuesday, Judge James Updike denied a motion by Welch’s lawyers to suppress the statements. His attorney, Anthony Anderson, argued that the statements were made as part of an immunity agreement between Welch and investigators.

  • Montvale man convicted of felony child neglect

        The father of a young child, charged with felony child neglect because the child was found outside near a highway unattended, will spend 40 days in jail following his conviction on the charge Tuesday in Bedford County Circuit Court.
         Nicholas Terry Grooters, 27, pleaded no contest to the charge and was sentenced to three years in prison, with all but the 40 days in jail suspended.

  • Teen competent to stand trial

        A Bedford County teen has been found competent to stand trial for allegedly firing shots in his home and at several vehicles. A preliminary hearing date has been set for April 26 at 1:30 p.m.
        On Oct. 13, 2016, incidents led to the arrest of 18-year-old Daniel Jared Flint. He was initially charged with arson, malicious shooting of an occupied vehicle and attempted malicious shooting of an occupied vehicle. He was also later charged with possession of a firearm after being involuntarily committed to a mental hospital.

  • Man gets one day in jail to serve on child neglect charge

        A 39-year-old Bedford man will serve one day in jail for his conviction of felony child abuse and neglect.
        Thomas Edison Updike III entered a no contest plea to the charge stemming from a Nov. 2015 incident in which a juvenile was injured while he was driving an ATV.
        Updike received a five-year sentence for the felony conviction with all but the one day jail sentence suspended. He will be on supervised probation for one year and will need to have five years of good behavior.

  • Woman could face deportation after 3rd DUI arrest

        A 34-year-old Mexican woman, now living in Roanoke, could face deportation as the result of her felony DUI conviction in Bedford Circuit Court Tuesday morning.
        The conviction was her third DUI in five years—she has two convictions from 2015—and the felony conviction in Bedford involved her also transporting three juveniles at the time of the incident which led to her arrest.