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Courts and Crime

  • Guilty of child abuse, woman is pregnant again — and in jail

        Back in March, a Bedford County jury sentenced Cecelia Burnette to eight years in prison after convicting her of felony child abuse, on March 17, in the death of her infant daughter, Marissa. Last week, she was back in Bedford County Circuit Court for formal sentencing.

        And she’s pregnant, with a new child on the way.
        Burnette’s defense team of David Oblon and Hilary Griffith put Burnette’s mother on the stand in an effort to persuade Judge James Updike to impose a different sentence.

  • Investigators look for leads in Forest shooting

        A shooting Thursday afternoon at a Forest home, that caused four schools and several businesses to go on lockdown, is still under investigation with few new details, according to the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office.

        The lockdowns lasted for more than an hour. At that time Bedford County Sheriff Mike Brown believed the area was clear and safe, but said area residents should continue to be careful.

  • Deborah Shifflett enters pleas in embezzlement case

    The Hardy Volunteer Fire Department can soon begin recouping some of the more than $150,000 prosecutors say were embezzled from it for more than two decades by its long-time fire chief Jeffrey Shifflett.

    Following no contest pleas entered in Bedford County Circuit Court Friday afternoon by Deborah Shifflett, Jeffrey Shifflett's wife, to misdemeanor charges related to the case, the fire department can now gain access to the items purchased with those stolen department funds and begin selling them to help repay debts incurred under Jeffrey Shifflett's leadership.

  • Lockdown update: Investigators look for suspect in Forest shooting

    A shooting Thursday afternoon at a Forest home, that caused four schools and several businesses to go on lockdown, is continuing into the evening, according to Bedford Sheriff Mike Brown.
    The lockdowns were lifted in the area around 3:30 p.m., but area residents should continue to be careful, Brown said at a news conference Thursday.
    “Just take precautions,” he said. He said if anyone suspicious is spotted, residents should immediately call 911. He added that residents should keep their cars and homes locked.

  • Lockdown update: Investigation ongoing into shooting in Forest area

    A shooting Thursday afternoon at a Forest home, that caused four schools and several businesses to go on lockdown, is continuing into the evening, according to Bedford Sheriff Mike Brown.
    The lockdowns were lifted in the area around 3:30 p.m., but area residents should continue to be careful, Brown said at a news conference Thursday.
    “Just take precautions,” he said. He said if anyone suspicious is spotted, residents should immediately call 911. He added that residents should keep their cars and homes locked.

  • Judge upholds jury sentence

    Back in March, a Bedford County jury sentenced Cecelia Burnette to eight years in prison after convicting her of felony child abuse, on March 17, in the death of her infant daughter, Marissa. Today, she was back in Bedford County Circuit Court for formal sentencing.
    Burnette's defense team of David Oblon, Hilary Griffith put Burnette's mother on the stand in an effort to persuade Judge James Updike to impose a different sentence.
    "She is the only child I have," said Robin Lambert, Burnette's mother.

  • Man pleads guilty to rape; receives 17 years in prison

    onvicted of rape in connection with charges that date back to 2005. He will have to serve more than 17 years of a 57 year, seven month sentence.

        Michael Wayne Porterfield, 38, pleaded no contest May 3 to the rape charge, which stems from him having sexual intercourse with a 12-year-old girl in the Goodview area in 2005. He was arrested on the charges last July after the girl, now a teenager, shared what had happened with a friend.

  • Two teens charged in damage at cemetery

        Two 16-year-old boys have been arrested in connection with the vandalism earlier this month at the cemetery off Longwood Avenue in Bedford.

  • Murder plea

        While there are conflicting stories about who might have helped dump the body of Sean Peter Placko in the James River last year, at least one man has now been convicted for that murder.

         Christopher Michael Dudley, 29, of Waynesboro will have to spend 37 years in prison after pleading no contest Tuesday  to   charges   of  first degree murder and the unlawful disposal of a dead body. His total sentence was 65 years, 28 which were suspended as part of the plea agreement.

  • Arrests made in cemetery vandalism case

     

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    Two 16-year-old boys have been arrested in connection with the vandalism earlier this month at the cemetery off Longwood Avenue in Bedford.