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Courts and Crime

  • Man enters pleas in home invasion case

        The first of five defendants has pleaded guilty to charges related to a 2011 home invasion case in Bedford.
        Jeffrey Lamar Brown, 24, entered guilty pleas to possession of a firearm as a convicted felon, burglary, robbery and wearing a mask in public. As part of his plea agreement, Brown received an 11-year active sentence from Circuit Court Judge James Updike,

  • Four charged with vandalizing mail boxes

        Four men have been arrested in connection with a spree of vandalism of mailboxes in the Trents Ferry Road area of Bedford County.
        On Saturday, utilizing information from tips generated by media reports, deputies with the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office arrested Daniel Kosowski, 19, of  Lynchburg; Joseph Spriggs, 20, of Lynchburg; Joseph Hallstrom, 20,  of Lynchburg; and Jack Robertson, 20, of Lynchburg. All four men were charged with vandalism to 11 mailboxes that occurred on Thursday night March 13.

  • Roanoke man guilty of aggravated sexual battery

        A registered sex offender pleaded no contest Friday to an aggravated sexual battery charge, stemming from a June 2012 incident.
        As part of a plea agreement, James Naff Gibson Jr., 52 of Roanoke, entered the plea to the charge—amended from a forcible sodomy charge that could have carried a mandatory life sentence—receiving a seven-year active prison sentence. Naff had previously registered as a sex offender because of a 2008 conviction in the city of Roanoke for object sexual penetration.

  • Bedford man arrested in fatal accident with bicyclist

    A Bedford man has been charged with felony hit and run in connection with an accident that killed a bicyclist Friday evening on Va. 122

        Michael Wayne Jenkins, 26, of Bedford, was arrested  early Monday morning at his residence on Snowberry Hill. Jenkins is being held in the Blue Ridge Regional Jail with no bond.

  • CASAs help children caught up in court system

        According to Juvenile and Domestic Relations Judge Louis Harrison, CASA is a valuable asset in the cases he hears.

        CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate. These trained volunteers are appointed by the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court to investigate and advocate for children in cases before the court where children are involved. They prepare a report, making a recommendation on what is best for the children, to help the judge make his decision.

  • Search warrant: Mother confessed

        The mother of a child found dead Feb. 27 at a Peaksview Lane residence admitted to smothering the 2-year-old to death, investigators stated in a search warrant connected to the case.
        In multiple search warrants filed by investigators with the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office, the investigators stated that Shana Marie Witt, 24, confessed “that she suffocated the child with a large stuffed dog” located in the child’s bedroom.

  • Mother charged with murder in death of 2-year-old son

        Some cases are just more difficult than others. This one, involving the alleged murder of a 2-year-old child by his mother, is about as difficult as it gets, authorities said Friday.

        Such was the case for one investigator last week, who, after finishing his duties, called his grandson, because it had affected him so deeply.
        Shana Marie Witt, 24 of Bedford, has been charged with strangling her 2-year-old child to death.

  • NY man guilty of computer solicitation

        A New York man who exposed himself on a web cam to investigators on multiple occasions is facing up to 210 years in prison following his conviction in Bedford County Circuit Court on Friday.
        Charles Welsey Olmstead, 39, entered no contest pleas to seven felony charges of computer solicitation at the plea hearing.

  • Bedford woman accused of murdering her 2 year old son

    A 24-year-old Bedford woman has been charged with murdering her own 2-year-old child.

    On Thursday afternoon at 1:35 p.m., Bedford County 911 dispatchers received a call from 1066 Peaksview Lane, Bedford. The caller , Michael Witt, 25, advised dispatchers that his son was unresponsive and not breathing.

  • Concussion evidence will be allowed at trial

        Expert testimony on the effect a concussion allegedly had on a Forest man’s behavior will be allowed at his hearing.
        Judge James Updike made that ruling last week at a motions hearing; Assistant Com-monwealth’s Attorney John Wheelock had filed a motion to exclude the testimony. Wheelock questioned whether a concussion qualifies as a mental defect or mental disease.
        Corey Bauer, 33, is charged with felonious assault on an officer.