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Courts and Crime

  • Victim’s body from Aug. crash will be exhumed

        The body of a Lynchburg man who died in an automobile accident last August will be exhumed to determine the actual cause of death.
        James Dale Gunter, 53, died in a wreck Aug. 18, 2013, on US 501 near the Eagle Eyrie Baptist Convention Center in Bedford County when the car he was a passenger in overturned. The driver of the vehicle, Steve Malotey Oulds III, also of Lynchburg, is charged with DUI, a misdemeanor, and involuntary manslaughter, a felony, as a result of the accident.

  • Woman pleads guilty to child neglect

        A Bedford woman will spend 60 days in jail after pleading guilty to two felony counts of child neglect during a hearing in Bedford County Circuit Court Jan. 10.
        Catherine Nicole Jackson, 24, entered the guilty pleas for a Sept. 5, 2013, incident in which police were called to investigate two children left in a car alone at Wal-Mart. Jackson was stopped by law enforcement on Forest Road.

  • Man indicted for setting fire

        A Bedford man with a history of charges of setting fires has been indicted by a Bedford grand jury for allegedly setting fire to his mother’s home in May.

        The January grand jury returned a total of 41 indictments against 19 different defendants.
        Darrell Bruce Orange, 53, faces an arson charge for a fire at a residence at 1071 Murray Hollow Road in Thaxton. He lived in the residence with his mother. He has been in jail without bond since being arrested.

  • Man sentenced on solicitation charges

    William Ramsey Rogers, 38, of Lynchburg, will spend the next 20 years in prison for sexual solicitation via his computer of a person he thought was a 13-year-old girl.

    He pleaded no contest late last year to four solicitation charges. The charges stemmed from contact with a Internet Crimes Against Children investigator, portraying a 13-year-old girl on the Internet. During these chats, Rogers also used a web camera to expose himself to the investigator and masturbate in front of a person he thought was a 13-year-old girl.

  • Moneta man sentenced for sexual assault of girl

        A 19-year-old Moneta man, who has maintained his innocence since being arrested, will spend two years in prison for having sexual contact with a minor girl under the age of 13 years old.
        But the attorney for Howard Jamar Witcher stated during a sentencing hearing Tuesday that he plans to appeal the conviction.

  • Bedford County Department of Fire & Rescue units respond to two structure fires

    On Tuesday, January 7, at 1:38 p.m. a call was received for a residential fire at 1346 Union Church Road, caller advising smoke coming from the attic. Crews from Bedford Fire Department, Forest Fire Department, Montvale Fire Department, Stewartsville Fire Department, Shady Grove Fire Department, Bedford County Fire & Rescue and Blue Ridge Fire Departments responded.

  • Investigation leads to 50 arrests

        “We are always delighted, during one of these roundups, to give out our Christmas cards,” Sheriff Mike Brown said at a Thursday afternoon press conference.

        The recipients were 21 people arrested the previous week in what Sheriff Brown calls the “Bedford County Sheriff’s Office Drug Blitz 2013. All face felony charges. The Christmas cards are a festive way of reading those being arrested their Miranda rights.
        “The response was mixed,” Sheriff Brown commented.

  • Bulletin update: Fire damages home on Longwood Ave.

    Crews from several area fire departments were still on the scene of a fire at 2 a.m. Sunday morning at 719 Longwood Ave. in Bedford, a fire that began late Saturday night.

  • Lynchburg man pleads guilty to computer solicitation

    Rogers, 38, of Lynchburg could spend a long time in prison after pleading no contest, in Bedford County Circuit Court last week, to four computer solicitation charges. According to Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Wes Nance, each of the charges carries a sentence of five to 30 years in prison, with a mandatory five year sentence.

  • Karl enters pleas in child molestation case

        Faced with three charges of aggravated sexual battery against three girls, Douglas Earl Karl Jr, 31, of Amherst, chose to make Alford pleas in Bedford County Circuit Court, Tuesday.
        An Alford plea is when a defendant, while maintaining his innocence, pleads guilty due to the evidence the prosecution has against him. He will serve 18 months in prison as a result of the plea agreement.
        “I plead guilty as it’s in my best interest,” said Karl to the charges.