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Courts

  • Nofsinger pleads guilty to child pornography charges

    By SHANNON WATKINS
    Staff

    ABINGDON — Richard Denny Nofsinger Jr. of Galax has pleaded guilty to three of the eight federal counts of producing child pornography leveled against him by federal prosecutors, according to a plea agreement logged in the federal court system.
    According to the plea agreement, which was signed by Nofsinger on Aug. 23, the suspect agreed to plead guilty on the three counts in exchange for dismissal of the other five, and for the United States to grant him a two-level reduction in his offense level.

  • Five prisoners indicted by Grayson Grand Jury

    By Larry Chambers
    Staff

    INDEPENDENCE -- Sealed indictments have been opened against five prisoners at River North Correctional Center in Independence.
    A Grayson County Circuit Court grand jury returned the drug indictments, which were sealed, on July 22.
    Prisoners indicted included:
    Gregory Griffin, 37 -- one count of conspiracy to deliver drugs to a prisoner (SUBOXONE).

  • Federal judge accepts Nofsinger’s plea agreement

    By SHANNON WATKINS
    Staff

    ABINGDON — At a brief plea hearing in the Western District of Virginia U.S. Court in Abingdon, Richard Denny Nofsinger Jr. pleaded guilty to three counts of producing child pornography.
    He faces between 15 and 90 years in prison, according to prosecutors.
    “The actions this defendant took were perverse and obscene and his punishment will be severe but just,” said U.S. Attorney John Fishwick in a statement after the hearing.

  • Suspect in Carroll car theft case caught

    By SARA BLANKENSHIP and SHANNON WATKINS
    Staff

    AUSTINVILLE — According to police reports, an Austinville man stole two cars; led officers on two chases, both ending in crashes, last Wednesday and Friday; rammed a Carroll deputy’s police car head-on and attempted to hit other officers; and fought with Wythe police when they attempted to arrest him.
    He is charged with several offenses, including attempted murder of a police officer.

  • Letter: Hammer’s attorney could help him receive yet another murder charge

    By Jesse Campbell
    (jcampbell@civitasmedia.com; (336) 846-7164)

    WEST JEFFERSON — In a letter written from his Virginia prison cell, convicted murderer Freddie P. Hammer has told the Jefferson Post he knows details about two local cold cases that have long stumped investigators.

  • Unsealed indictments include drug, abuse/neglect, fraud charges

    By Larry Chambers
    Staff

    INDEPENDENCE – Indictments against three Independence residents have recently been unsealed in Grayson County.
    The grand jury met July 22 and returned several sealed indictments.
    Stacy Alana Ward was indicted on two counts of the sale, gift or distribution a schedule II controlled substance  (Meth); one count of abuse or child neglect; and one count of conspiracy to sell, give or distribute a schedule II controlled substance (Meth).

  • Two indicted for murder by grand jury

    By LARRY CHAMBERS
    Staff

    INDEPENDENCE – Two Grayson County residents were indicted on second-degree murder and other charges by a Grayson County Circuit Court grand jury last Friday.
    The charges involve the death of 15-month-old Payton Lyrik Sawyers, who was killed by the couple’s dog.
    John Terry Underwood II, 51, was indicted on three charges, including failure to contain a vicious dog resulting in serious human injury; abuse or child neglect; and murder in the second-degree.

  • Five indicted by Grand Jury

    By Larry Chambers
    Staff

    INDEPENDENCE – Sealed indictments have been opened charging five Grayson County residents on drug and other charges.
    The indictments were sealed by a Grayson County Circuit Court grand jury that met Oct. 28.

    Indictments included:
    • Christopher Dylan Todd, 32, of Fries, was indicted on one count of the possession of a schedule II controlled substance (Oxymorphene).

  • Court dates announced in first degree murder case

    SMYTH COUNTY — Two charges in the case of the hit-and-run death of a Fries woman and the vehicular injury of an Ivanhoe man have been continued by the Smyth County General District Court.
    According to the court’s online database, John Randolph Lewis, charged in the first-degree murder of Clontz and the malicious assault of Samuel D. Lawson, will appear in court Dec. 8 for the malicious assault charge, and one charge of failure to stop for an accident.

  • Judge reaches no decision on Keepers motions

    By SHANNON WATKINS
    Staff

    CHRISTIANSBURG — Natalie Keepers’ motions hearing came to a conclusion late Wednesday in the Montgomery County Circuit Court, but Judge Robert Turk reached no decision on defense requests.
    Keepers, a former Virginia Tech student, stands accused of being an accessory before the fact to first-degree murder and concealing a dead body in the January 2016 stabbing death of 13-year-old Blacksburg teen Nicole Lovell. Keepers was 19 at the time of the incident.