Crime & Courts

Senator calls for marijuana decriminalization

Sen. Adam Ebbin, D-Alexandria, would make simple marijuana possession a civil offense punishable by a $100 fine.

A senator from Northern Virginia is urging the General Assembly to decriminalize marijuana possession, as about 20 other states have done.
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Lawmakers seek to curb heroin overdose epidemic

Carolyn Weems, who lost a daughter to heroin, speaks at a heroin overdose legislation conference in Richmond Tuesday.

Attorney General Mark Herring and a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers are seeking passage of four bills addressing the heroin and prescription painkiller abuse epidemic in Virginia, including one that would hold drug dealers accountable for overdose deaths.
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Ethics is a key issue for 2015 assembly

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With a former governor heading to prison for corruption and his successor calling for a cap on gifts to politicians, ethics reform is high on the agenda for the Virginia General Assembly’s 2015 session.
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School board declines cell tower lease

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Jan. 15
Detail from an AT&T mockup, based on a balloon test, of what the planned Boston tower would look like from 400 feet away.

By a vote of 3-2, the Rappahannock County School Board Tuesday night (Jan. 13) voted against entering a controversial lease agreement with Community Wireless Structures (CWS), the Arlington company which had offered to construct a monopole for prospective mobile carriers on high school property.
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The road leads to indictments for four

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Jan. 15

Four people were indicted by a Rappahannock County Circuit Court grand jury Monday (Jan. 12), all for driving-related offenses.
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Panel rejects bill to expand hate crimes law

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A Senate committee on Wednesday voted along party lines to defeat a bill to include sexual orientation and gender identification in the state’s definition of hate crimes.
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School Board pressed on cell details

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A Sperryville resident files a civil action (to be heard Jan. 12) to force the county school board to respond to a Virginia Freedom of Information Act request for all its cell tower-related communications. Update: The school board asks for 7 more days and $400.
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Ex-Gov. McDonnell sentenced to two years in prison

Bob McDonnell speaks to the press after sentencing.

Former Gov. Bob McDonnell was sentenced Tuesday to 24 months in prison after being convicted of 11 felony corruption charges in September.
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U.Va. president seeks leniency for McDonnell

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University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan is among the more than 400 letter writers urging a federal judge to be lenient Tuesday in sentencing former Gov. Bob McDonnell for corruption.
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Driver crashes into house after midmorning chase

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Dec. 18, 2014
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Police chased a man in a pickup truck this morning from Flint Hill into the center of the county's commercial area, where the driver veered across the median, crossed two more lanes and continued across a lawn and straight into a house.
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Guilty pleas, DUIs, drug charges

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Dec. 11, 2014

In a case in which the defendant was accused of filing a false insurance claim with the Virginia Farm Bureau for a zero-turn mower he never owned, Delmas Dean Dotson, 48, of Huntly, pleaded guilty in Rappahannock County Circuit Court to three felonies last Thursday (Dec. 4): forgery of a public office seal, impersonating...
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Elder financial abuse a growing problem

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Nov. 27, 2014
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With the high incidence of financial scams directed at senior citizens in the region, Aging Together in Rappahannock held a roundtable discussion recently to discuss elder financial abuse.
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Crashed-cab driver pleads guilty to eluding

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Nov. 27, 2014
The cab driven by Allante Strother after it was towed from the accident scene in December 2013.

Last December, 24-year-old Allante Tobias Strother of Culpeper crashed a taxicab after he was chased at high speed by a deputy. This December he'll be in jail awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to felony eluding of a police officer.
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Sheriff’s Report for Nov. 20

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Nov. 20, 2014

Drug, DUI arrests As a result of a traffic stop Nov. 12 by Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Deputy W. Ubben at Sperryville Pike and Johnson Farm Lane, Michael Edward Jackson, 40, of Haywood, Va., was arrested and charged with felony marijuana possession with intent to distribute.   That same day, Deputy M. Dodson responded to...
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Timber theft jail term begins

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Nov. 13, 2014

Her Virginia Supreme Court appeal unsuccessful, a former tenant of of a Sperryville property begins serving her eight months in jail after she was convicted in 2012 of stealing timber.
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Front Royal, Flint Hill men sentenced

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Oct. 30, 2014

A 24-year-old Front Royal man was sentenced to two years’ probation in Rappahannock County Circuit Court Tuesday (Oct. 28) for possession of synthetic LSD, and Flint Hill resident Eric Alvin Phillips will spend a month in jail, possibly on work release, after pleading guilty to a reduced assault charge in what had been an alleged...
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Stonyman can stay through January

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Oct. 23, 2014
Stonyman Gourmet reached an out-of-court settlement that allows it to remain at its Gay Street quarters until Jan. 15.

Stonyman Gourmet Farmer cafe/cheese shop owners Alan and Susan James say they can remain in business at their Gay Street mercantile store location through January, according to the terms of an out-of-court settlement reached this week.
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Investigation at Flint Hill Post Office

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Oct. 23, 2014

An investigation into unknown allegations of wrongdoing involving the mail is underway at the Flint Hill Post Office, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of the Inspector General (OIG).
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Culpeper man charged in four-car crash

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Oct. 16, 2014
Police said a pickup truck rear-ended a PT Cruiser heading north on U.S. 522 Saturday afternoon in Scrabble, driving it into the path of a southbound GMC Yukon, which ended up in the brush.

A 40-year-old Culpeper man faces DUI and hit-and-run charges after police said he caused and then fled a four-vehicle wreck on U.S. 522 in Scrabble on Saturday afternoon (Oct. 11).
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Four months for credit card fraud

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Oct. 16, 2014
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In criminal court proceedings Oct. 2 in Rappahannock County Circuit Court, Rudy Gomez-Santoyo was sentenced to four months in jail on two felony counts — of credit card fraud and using a credit card without the card owner’s permission.
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Photo: Saturday crash

Miraculously, no one was seriously injured in this head-on crash.

Four drug cases, four sentences suspended

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Sept. 25, 2014
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Four people received suspended sentences for possession charges this week in Rappahannock County Circuit Court.
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Sheriff’s report

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Sept. 18, 2014

Last Wednesday (Sept. 10), while conducting a checking detail on Lee Highway, Deputy Christopher. Koglin arrested Julian Maurice McDowell, 21, of Culpeper.
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Heroin charges among grand jury indictments

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Sept. 11, 2014
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Five people were indicted by a grand jury convened Monday morning (Sept. 8) in Rappahannock County Circuit Court, including four charged with distributing heroin.
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Newcamp to undergo mental evaluation

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Aug. 28, 2014
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A young Castleton man withdrew a guilty plea Tuesday morning (Aug. 26) in Rappahannock County Circuit Court, and will undergo a mental competency evaluation in the next 90 days.
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Courthouse Row for Aug. 28

Home/land transfers No home or land transfers were recorded at the Rappahannock County Circuit Court Clerk’s office this week. Building Permits Deana Goldstein, Woodville, electric service on pole, estimated cost $1,500 Doris Vest, Flint Hill, upgrade electric, estimated cost $2,000 Jean Clements, Flint Hill, temporary tent, estimated cost $2,293 Susan S. Fitzgerald, Amissville, foundation...
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Deal gets more time for evaluation

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Judge Jeffrey Parker granted Judy Deal another six months of analysis to determine whether she was mentally competent to stand trial for the alleged first-degree murder of her estranged husband.
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Driver charged in head-on crash

Virginia State Police this week charged Kenneth Lee Bruske, 29, of Boston, with failure to maintain proper control and driving without a license after his pickup truck collided with another Aug. 11.
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Weekend sentence for probation violations

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Aug. 14, 2014
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Two people were sentenced Thursday morning (Aug. 7) in Rappahannock County Circuit Court, including one who failed to appear and was subsequently tried in her absence.
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Five dead in Rixeyville home

A family of two adults and three juveniles were found shot to death inside this home off Rixeyville Road in Culpeper Sunday night.

Culpeper County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a multiple homicide reported Sunday night (Aug. 3) after a family of five was discovered dead inside their home off Rixeyville Road.
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Deputies arrest second fugitive

Cesar Enrique Garcia

Cesar Enrique Garcia, who police say is the brother of a man arrested and held for extradition to California on July 14, was arrested last Friday (July 25) on a fugitive warrant.
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Authority will address jail’s rocky start

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July 24, 2014
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The technical, logistical, staffing and training issues that have dogged the new Rappahannock Shenandoah Warren Regional Jail during its opening days and weeks are being addressed and corrected, says the Front Royal facility’s superintendent.
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Guilty plea in Sperryville credit card fraud

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July 24, 2014
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A Culpeper man chose to forgo his scheduled trial and instead pleaded guilty to two felony charges in Rappahannock County Circuit Court Thursday morning (July 17).
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Breakdown, not stakeout, nabs fugitive

Victor Manuel Garcia

A team from the U.S. Marshals Service arrived in the county on July 14 in search of a fugitive from San Diego County, Calif., staking out his house in Sperryville but failing to find him.
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For sex with minor he met online: 10 years probation

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July 17, 2014
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A Baltimore man charged with carnal knowledge of a minor was placed on probation for 10 years in Rappahannock County Circuit Court Monday morning (July 14).
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Scammers continue to target REC members

Posing as representatives from Rappahannock Electric Cooperative (REC), potential thieves have attempted to scam members by calling to demand immediate payment of bills.
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8 Va. fatalities during Fourth weekend

Preliminary reports indicate that eight people died in separate crashes during the 2014 Fourth of July holiday weekend, one more than were killed in traffic accidents over the 2013 four-day holiday weekend.
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Bragg sentenced to two years

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July 3, 2014
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A Strasburg man charged with sexual battery and aggravated sexual battery against a minor was sentenced to two years in jail in Rappahannock County Circuit Court last Tuesday morning (June 24).
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Crime is down; jail is closed; budget unchanged

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June 26, 2014
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As of today, Rappahannock’s 181-year-old local jail, one of the oldest still operating in Virginia, is expected to be empty. As of July 1, the Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Office will likely be just four officers shy of its current staff.
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Berry gets 52 months for sex crimes

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June 26, 2014
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In Rappahannock County Circuit Court last Thursday (June 19), a 42-year-old Amissville man was sentenced to 52 months in jail for committing various sexual offenses.
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