Courts and Crime

  • Lockdown update: Investigation ongoing into shooting in Forest area

    A shooting Thursday afternoon at a Forest home, that caused four schools and several businesses to go on lockdown, is continuing into the evening, according to Bedford Sheriff Mike Brown.
    The lockdowns were lifted in the area around 3:30 p.m., but area residents should continue to be careful, Brown said at a news conference Thursday.
    “Just take precautions,” he said. He said if anyone suspicious is spotted, residents should immediately call 911. He added that residents should keep their cars and homes locked.

  • Judge upholds jury sentence

    Back in March, a Bedford County jury sentenced Cecelia Burnette to eight years in prison after convicting her of felony child abuse, on March 17, in the death of her infant daughter, Marissa. Today, she was back in Bedford County Circuit Court for formal sentencing.
    Burnette's defense team of David Oblon, Hilary Griffith put Burnette's mother on the stand in an effort to persuade Judge James Updike to impose a different sentence.
    "She is the only child I have," said Robin Lambert, Burnette's mother.

  • Man pleads guilty to rape; receives 17 years in prison

    onvicted of rape in connection with charges that date back to 2005. He will have to serve more than 17 years of a 57 year, seven month sentence.

        Michael Wayne Porterfield, 38, pleaded no contest May 3 to the rape charge, which stems from him having sexual intercourse with a 12-year-old girl in the Goodview area in 2005. He was arrested on the charges last July after the girl, now a teenager, shared what had happened with a friend.

  • Two teens charged in damage at cemetery

        Two 16-year-old boys have been arrested in connection with the vandalism earlier this month at the cemetery off Longwood Avenue in Bedford.

  • Murder plea

        While there are conflicting stories about who might have helped dump the body of Sean Peter Placko in the James River last year, at least one man has now been convicted for that murder.

         Christopher Michael Dudley, 29, of Waynesboro will have to spend 37 years in prison after pleading no contest Tuesday  to   charges   of  first degree murder and the unlawful disposal of a dead body. His total sentence was 65 years, 28 which were suspended as part of the plea agreement.

  • Arrests made in cemetery vandalism case


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    Two 16-year-old boys have been arrested in connection with the vandalism earlier this month at the cemetery off Longwood Avenue in Bedford.

  • Reward increased in cemetery vandalism case

        The reward amount for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those involved with damaging more than 40 headstones at a Bedford cemetery has increased to $1,900.

        This week four additional donations were made to the original $500 reward that had been offered.
        Those who caused the damage will likely face Class 6 felony property damage charges.

  • Headstones damaged at Bedford Cemetery

    More than 40 headstones at the Oakwood, Longwood and Greenwood Cemetery were damaged sometime last weekend, including one at the grave of one of the Bedford Boys killed on June 6, 1944, during the Normandy invasion.

  • Witt gets additional time

    Landmark News Service


    Former Staunton River High School football coach Rick Witt accepted a plea bargain Tuesday in Roanoke Co0unty Circuit Court reducing charges that he had sex with an underage female William Byrd High School student in 2008.

    Witt, already serving four years after being convicted of having sex with that student and another girl in Bedford County, had faced eight felony charges of carnal knowledge and taking indecent liberties with a minor.

  • Witt gets 4-year jail sentence

    Former Staunton River High School teacher and football coach Richard Isaac Witt was sentenced Tuesday to four years in jail for his convictions of 10 misdemeanor counts of having sexual contact with a minor.

        Bedford County Circuit Court Judge James Updike handed down a 10-year jail sentence, with all but four of those years suspended, during a hearing in which both victims of Witt's crimes, along with their mothers, testified about the impact Witt's actions had on them and their families.