Courts and Crime

  • Music teacher's charges certified to grand jury

        Charges against a Lynchburg man, accused of taking indecent liberties with a minor female student he taught at a music school, will go to a Bedford County grand jury.

        On Fri-day Dec. 19, Luis Roberto Mendez, 42, was arrested and charged with two counts of taking indecent liberty with a child. He has been held in the Bedford Adult Detention Center on no bond since his arrest.
        At  a  bond  hearing  appeal, Judge James Updike deemed him as a flight risk, denying Mendez bond.

  • Bedford man to serve 15 mos.

        A Bedford man is now a convicted sex offender after pleading no contest Tuesday in Bedford County Circuit Court to taking indecent liberties with a child.
        A no contest plea means the defendant neither admits or disputes a charge. It has the same effect as a guilty plea.
        According     to     Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Ayers, the offenses happened in 2006. Mario Rivero, now 43, was accused of fondling a minor girl through her clothing.

  • Stabbing leads to 2 arrests

        An altercation Wednesday evening led to the stabbing of two women at a Bedford residence.
        The incident occurred Jan. 14 around 7:30 p.m. at a residence in the 1300 block of Lowry Street. According to Bedford Police Chief Todd Foreman, two women went onto the property at Lowry Street and the altercation occurred between the two teens and two men.

  • Investigators think they are close

        Local, state and federal law enforcement were working together this week in hopes of finding the bodies of  Sheila and Katherine Lyon, abducted four decades ago in Montgomery County, Maryland.
        The four-decade long investigation into the missing girls has been focused in the Taylor’s Mountain area of Bedford County since early last fall. A search for the bodies of the two girls has been ongoing over the rough terrain of the mountain.

  • Ex-Gov. McDonnell sentenced to 2 years in prison

    By Benjamin May and Sean CW Korsgaard
    Capital News Service

  • Competent to stand trial

        A Bedford woman, charged with first-degree murder in the death of her 2-year-old son, has been declared mentally competent to stand trial.

  • Goodview man sentenced for accident that took life of his friend

        A 22-year-old Goodview man will spend 12 months in jail for an involuntary manslaughter conviction involving a single-vehicle accident that killed a Bedford man.

        Durham Westley Falabella received a 10-year-sentence with all but 12 months of that sentence suspended, on the involuntary manslaughter conviction. He also received a 12 month sentence on a misdemeanor driving under the influence conviction, which runs concurrently with the other sentence.

  • Officer cleared in July shooting

        Armed, dangerous and desperate.
        That is how Bedford County Deputy Juette Renalds described 32-year-old David Mendoza, the man he shot and killed July 30, following a chase that began earlier that evening after a home invasion in which Mendoza had attacked a county woman.
        Following a four month investigation by special prosecutor Montgomery County Commonwealth’s Attorney Mary Pettitt, Renalds has been cleared in the shooting.

  • Perjury charge

    The special grand jury investigating the 1975 disappearance of sisters Sheila and Katherine Lyon met last week and at least one woman has been indicted, according to a story in The Washington Post.
        According to the Post article, 65-year-old Patricia Jean Welch, a Maryland resident, has been indicted for perjury. Patricia Welch is the wife of Richard Allen Welch who authorities named in October as a “person of interest” in the investigation of the abduction of the two girls who were last seen at a Wheaton, Maryland, shopping mall.

  • Shooting ruled justifiable; officers return to duty

    The officer-related shooting death of Richard Thomas Bergeron on Oct. 28 has been ruled as a justified shooting by Michael R. Doucette, the commonwealth's attorney in Lynchburg, who was serving as special prosecutor in the investigation.

    “I will not be seeking any criminal charges against them,” Doucette wrote in a letter to Circuit Court Judge James Updike. “In fact, in my opinion, they should be commended for the quick and decisive action they took which saved the life of Doris Bergeron.”