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Courts and Crime

  • Update: Lockdown lifted at Forest area schools that had been placed on lockdown

    The lockdown has been lifted for four Forest area schools—Jefferson Forest High School, Forest Elementary, Thomas Jefferson Elementary and Forest Middle School. The schools were placed had been placed on a Level 1 lockdown earlier this morning.

    The lockdown was apparently in response to a search for a suspect by the Bedford County Sheriff's Office, though school officials directed questions to the Sheriff's Office, which wasn't immediately available for comment.

  • Lovingston man arrested in abduction case of Alexis Murphy

    Commonwealth Attorney (CA) of Nelson County, Anthony Martin; Sheriff David Brooks, Nelson County, Virginia Sheriff's Office; Colonel Steven Flaherty, Virginia State Police; and Special Agent in Charge (SAC) Jeffrey Mazanec, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) announced Monday that Randy Allen Taylor was arrested Sunday and charged with abduction in the disappearance of Alexis Tiara Murphy.

    Taylor, 48, of Lovingston, was taken into custody Sunday without incident and remains in custody without bond, stated Martin.

  • BCSO seeks help in locating suspect accused of assaults

         The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office is requesting the public’s assistance in identifying and locating Sanjay Patel (also known as Sunny). Patel stands accused of allegedly assaulting three females, while being employed at a local convenience store in Bedford County. At this time, the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office and the Department of Homeland Security are unable to obtain necessary identifying information to obtain warrants. Patel lives in the Roanoke area.

  • Nativity theft sentences handed out

        Prior to entering a plea for stealing and destroying a church’s Nativity scene last December, Matthew Barringer took advantage of a chance to get out in front of his punishment.

  • Earnest appeal denied

        The Bedford County Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office was notified last week that the Virginia State Supreme Court turned down Wesley Earnest’s appeal to have his murder conviction overturned. According to Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Wes Nance, the Supreme Court rendered its decision  July 30.

  • BCSO seeks help in investigation

        The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office is investigating several larceny from vehicles complaints that occurred in the Forest area between July 17 and July 19. Some of the items reported missing are wallets containing credit cards, a firearm and golf clubs.
        Investigators are attempting to identify a person of interest in the crimes.
        Anyone with information on this person is asked to contact Investigator Steve Smith at 540-586-7827 or Central Virginia Crime Stoppers at 1-888-798-5900.

  • Bedford woman charged with attempted murder

        Monday, around 9 p.m., a Bedford woman was arrested and charged with attempted first degree murder.
        Bedford Police arrested  Evelina Simmons Nellum, 56, in the 500 block of Plunkett Street for the attempted murder of her husband, Terry Nellum, 46, also of Bedford. The arrest occurred following a domestic dispute at a garage, according to a report from the Bedford Police Department.

  • Fields sentenced on fraud charges

        A Bedford County man who was a fugitive from justice for more than a year was sentenced last week in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Lynchburg on a variety of fraud charges.

  • Forest convenience store robbed

        At 10:05 p.m. Monday night, Bedford County 911 dispatchers received a call from the Quik-E Food Mart in Forest reporting a robbery.

        According to a report from the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office, the caller stated that a black male with black framed glasses, carrying a gray sweater and wearing jeans and a black T-shirt, entered the store. He threatened the clerk and demanded money. After getting the money, the suspect left on foot and ran towards Graves Mill Road behind the store, the BCSO report stated.

  • Moneta man guilty of taking indecent liberties with minor

        A 19-year-old Moneta man maintained his innocence throughout his trial last Tuesday, but was eventually found guilty of having sexual contact with a minor girl under the age of 13 years old.
        Howard Jamar Witcher entered not guilty pleas to the charges of taking indecent liberties with a minor and aggravated sexual battery, but following a bench trial was found guilty by Circuit Court Judge James Updike.