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Courts

  • Trial dates set in dog attack case

    Terra Lynn Connell and John Terry Underwood II, two Grayson County residents charged in the 2016 dog attack death of a 15 month-old girl, have been scheduled for separate jury trials in Grayson County Circuit Court in the coming months.
    Court records confirmed last week that Connell is scheduled for a jury trial on May 11, beginning at 9 a.m. The trial has been set for two days, according to the database.
    Underwood is scheduled for a jury trial on March 2, beginning at 9 a.m. He is also scheduled for a pre-trial motion hearing on Feb. 23, according to the database.

  • Court to hear motions in Lovell murder case

    CHRISTIANSBURG — As Natalie Keepers prepares for four days of motions hearings this month, her attorney wants a judge to throw out incriminating statements she made to police during the investigation of Nicole Lovell’s death.
    Lovell, 13, of Blacksburg, was killed in January 2016 and her body was found just outside Grayson County.

  • Fries woman pleads guilty to federal drug charge

    ROANOKE – A Fries woman, who reportedly conspired with others to distribute methamphetamine in and around the Hillsville and Galax regions of Virginia, pled guilty last week in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Roanoke, United States Attorney John P. Fishwick Jr. said.
    A news release from the Western District confirmed that Bianca Victoria Aroche, 23, of Fries, pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to possess with the intent to distribute and to distribute 50 grams or more of methamphetamine.

  • Court dates set in dog attack death case

    INDEPENDENCE – Two Grayson County residents charged in the dog attack death of a 15 month-old girl were recently indicted by a Grayson County Circuit Court grand jury, and have pending court dates.
    The grand jury met on Oct. 28, where Terra Lynn Connell and John Terry Underwood were indicted on charges involving the January death of 15 month-old Payton Lyrik Sawyers, who officers say was killed by the couple’s dog.  

  • Charges in murder case sent to grand jury

    INDEPENDENCE – A charge of first-degree murder and three other felonies filed against Greyling Dwayne “Beany” Davis of Galax in the March 20 shooting death of Karen Cates will move to the Grayson County Grand Jury for certification.
    The ruling came from the Grayson County General District Court at the conclusion of a preliminary hearing for Davis on Monday. Cates was Davis’ ex-girlfriend.

  • Parks brings years of legal experience to assistant prosecutor job

    INDEPENDENCE — Marty Parks, an assistant commonwealth’s attorney in Grayson, has served the county since late 2012.
    With an extensive history in the practice of law, Parks accepted the position with the county after turning it down once before due to bad timing. Prior to his current position, Parks had a practice in Galax, where he’d worked since 1980.

  • Federal child abuse charges could go to trial before homicide

    New federal child sexual abuse charges against double homicide suspect Richard Denny Nofsinger Jr. mean that the Galax man potentially faces two trials — in U.S. District Court for the abuse charges and in Carroll County Circuit Court for the killings of a mother and her infant daughter.
    Sources close to the case say it could be quite a while before either case go to trial, but prosecution for the federal charges could take place before the suspect goes to court on the state murder charges.

  • Murder trial date set for July

    INDEPENDENCE — The trial date for George Albert Harper III, who has been charged in the 2002 first-degree murder of Brandon Billings, will be held the week of July 25 in Grayson County Circuit Court, according to the courts website and a recent review of the case last week.
    The Grayson County Circuit Court scheduled a review for Harper’s case last Thursday, which Harper’s attorney, Edgar DeHart, said was to confirm everything was in order before the July trial, and to confirm the date.

  • Circuit Court receives positive audit report

    INDEPENDENCE — The Grayson County Circuit Court Clerk’s office recently announced that they received a positive report following a recent audit.

  • Murder suspect to be extradited to Virginia

    Greyling Dwayne “Beany” Davis, charged in the first-degree murder of Karen Cates at her Grayson County home, the malicious wounding of David Patton and other offenses across two states, appeared in Alleghany County District Court on Tuesday to answer to charges in North Carolina and to appoint a lawyer.
    Police said Davis, 52, was an estranged boyfriend of Cates.
    Davis was served the first-degree murder warrant on Tuesday morning. He also faces two outstanding fugitive warrants in Virginia.