Courts and Crime

  • 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:

  • New CASA volunteers

    Juvenile and Domestic Relations Judge Louis Harrison swore in a dozen new CASA volunteers Thursday evening. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate.

  • Earnest found guilty in retrial

    The trial was held in a different courtroom with a jury from a different county. But in the end, the verdict was the same: Guilty.

  • Drug bust

    A routine traffic stop resulted in two Bedford men now facing drug charges.

  • On trial — again

    There’s a different courtroom, but the parties involved in the murder trial of Wesley Earnest are the same: Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Wes Nance is heading up the prosecution; Joseph Sanzone the defense; and Judge James Updike is applying the needed interpretations of the law to the trial as it unfolds.

  • Prosecution tries again to convict Earnest of murder

    The second murder trial against Wesley Brian Earnest began Monday.
        First up in the retrial of Earnest—who was granted a mistrial this summer after being found guilty of murdering his wife at a two-week trial in April—will be the presentation of any pre-trial motions as well as seating the jury that will hear the case.

        A Nelson County jury will decide the fate of Earnest, with the trial itself being held in Amherst County Circuit Court.

  • First degree murder charge moves ahead

    A first degree murder charge against a 28-year-old Waynesboro man, accused of killing his uncle and dumping the body in the James River, has been certified to the December grand jury in Bedford.