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Courts and Crime

  • Jury finds mother guilty in death of her child

        Her ex-husband, Nathan Aponte, asked the jury to show Emily Aponte mercy as it went back to the jury room to decide on a sentence, having convicted her of involuntary manslaughter for causing the accident that took the life of their 6-year-old son, Ethan.

  • Former Cash Advance employee guilty of identity theft

        A former employee of Cash Advance in Bedford will have to pay back $12,000 in restitution to the business, following her conviction on three counts of identify theft Friday in Bedford County Circuit Court.

        Helen Meador Moody was arrested in December 2014 on the charges and entered guilty pleas last October. On Friday she was sentenced to two years in prison with all of that time suspended. She will serve two years of supervised probation and have to make the restitution payments at no less than $100 per month beginning in April.

  • Vinton man guilty of abduction, malicious wounding

        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.
        Hale, 31, now stands convicted of two abduction charges, a malicious wounding charge, a bad check charge and misdemeanor charges of resisting arrest and assault and battery. He could face up to 13 years in prison.

  • Man charged with owning dangerous dogs

        At 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday February 17, Bedford County 911 dispatchers received a call reporting a black pit bull had attacked another dog at Boonsboro Place.
        While deputies were responding dispatchers received a second call advising two children had been bitten by a black pit bull and a white pit bull. After arriving on the scene, deputies spoke with the two children.

  • Perjury plea entered in Lyon sisters case

        The brother-in-law of a man who is a person of interest in the 1975 abduction case of sisters Sheila and Katherine Lyon in Maryland was found guilty of perjury in Bedford County Circuit Court Tuesday.
        Leslie Joseph Engleking, 69, is the brother-in-law of Richard Welch who is a person of interest in the case; he has yet to be charged.
        Engleking was arrested Aug. 7 after testifying to a multi-jurisdictional special grand jury empaneled to investigate the Lyon sisters case.

  • Bedford woman must repay close to $2,000

        A former employee of Dollar General in Forest will have to repay close to $2,000 to the company as part of a plea agreement reached in Bedford County Circuit Court last Friday.
        Caitlin Michelle Throne, 22 of Bedford, was sentenced to two years in prison with all of that time suspended for embezzling $1953.04 from Dollar General. She was arrested on the charge in August 2014 and entered a guilty plea last April.

  • Bond hearing held Tuesday in former police officer’s child porn case

        Brian McAlexander, a former Bedford police officer, has been granted bond.
        McAlexander has been charged with distributing child pornography. He has been held in the Blue Ridge Regional Jail since his arrest on Feb. 5.
        McAlexander has been charged with one count of distribution of child pornography and five counts of distribution of child pornography, subsequent offense.

  • 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.

  • Bedford woman is thankful to be jailed

        Testimony in Circuit Court last Tuesday described  Rebecka Lynn Jones, 33, as being as much of a victim as she was a criminal. Jones faced sentencing after being found guilty of manufacturing methamphetamine.
        She had already spent six months in jail at the time of her sentencing and described being in jail as a lifesaving experience.
        “My prayers were answered by being put in jail,” she said.

  • 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.