Courts and Crime

  • Man pleads guilty to abduction

    A Bedford man pleaded guilty Tuesday morning in Bedford County Circuit Court, to two felony abduction charges.

        According to Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney John Wheelock, John Charles Lavra, 52, went to the home of a Bedford County woman on August 5 and prevented the woman and her daughter from leaving the premises for several hours.

  • Shifflett back in court

    Deborah Shifflett’s defense attorney withdrew a subpoena for documents related to her embezzlement case after conceding that those documents don’t exist.

        Webster Hogeland, defense attorney for Shifflett, and Commonwealth’s Attorney Randy Krantz argued the issue during a motions hearing in Bedford County Circuit Court, Tuesday morning.

  • Bedford man faces child porn charges

    A Bedford County man,  arrested and charged on December 23 for aggravated sexual battery of a minor child,  now faces additional charges for the manufacturing of child pornography and charges of possessing child pornography and reproduction of child pornography.

  • Defendant in animal hoarding case to receive mental evaluation

        The 63-year-old Thaxton man accused of hoarding more than 100 cats and dogs at his home will undergo a competency evaluation before standing trial on 10 misdemeanor animal cruelty charges.

        Ronald Lee Snellings Sr. was charged in November as the result of an investigation that led to deputies with the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office and animal rights volunteers removing the animals from his home. At the time, investigators called the incident the worst cases of “animal hoarding” they had ever seen.

  • Sheriff's Office issues warning on scams

        The Bedford County Sheriff’s Office is warning people to beware of a scam involving fake checks that appear to come from Publisher’s Clearing House. According to Major Ricky Gardner, these checks are coming to Bedford County. The office recently received a call from a county resident, who was the subject of this scam.

  • Man guilty of infecting girl with HIV

    Carlos Lamont Rose, 41, entered pleas of guilty and no contest to charges stemming from a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl which he infected with HIV.

        Rose, of Madison Heights, pleaded guilty Friday in Bedford County Circuit Court to carnal knowledge of a minor and soliciting to produce child pornography. He pleaded no contest to infected sexual battery. A no contest plea means that the person does not admit guilt, but  doesn’t refute  the  charge either. It carries the same weight as a guilty plea.

  • SEC brings fraud charges against nuclear power company that started in Thaxton

    The Securities and Exchange Commission last week charged a self-described power company in Idaho—with ties to Bedford County—with fraudulently raising funds for a $10 billion nuclear power project. The SEC is seeking an emergency court order to freeze the assets of the company and two executives.

        The company was originally based out of Thaxton and includes a number of investors from the Bedford area.

  • Theft at Y ruins children’s day

    A battery theft left a bunch of 3- and 4-year-olds very disappointed last week.

        According to Kristen Graham, the Bedford Area YMCA’s director of operations, the Y runs a pre-school program that includes swimming, gymnastics and other physical activities as well as art and music. Every week, the children go to the Bedford Library for story time.

  • Trial delayed against woman charged in infant's death

    The trial against a 26-year-old Bedford woman, charged with second degree murder in the death of her eight-month-old infant in September 2008, was delayed Tuesday after Bedford County Commonwealth’s Attorney Randy Krantz moved to recuse his office from prosecuting the case.

        Cecilia Leigh Burnette was arrested in 2009 and charged with second degree murder and felony child abuse in connection with the death of her infant daughter, Marissa.

  • Former SRHS coach pleads guilty

    Former Staunton River High School teacher and football coach Richard Isaac Witt could face up to 10 years in jail after pleading guilty Tuesday morning to 10 misdemeanor counts of having consensual sexual contact with a minor.

        Sentencing is scheduled for March 1 in what is expected to be a contested hearing from both the defense and prosecution.
        What does Bedford County Commonwealth’s Attorney Randy Krantz want citizens to understand about Tuesday’s outcome: