• Keepers sentenced to 40 years


    CHRISTIANSBURG — Natalie Keepers was sentenced to 40 years in prison last Tuesday afternoon for being an accessory in the murder of Nicole Lovell in 2016.
    The sentence was handed down by Judge Robert Turk in the Montgomery County Circuit Court in a session that only lasted about 20 minutes.
    The sentence also included five years for the concealment of a body, to be suspended after completion of the 40-year term, with 10 years’ probation.

  • Six indictments unsealed in Grayson

    By Larry Chambers

    INDEPENDENCE – Sealed indictments against six suspects have recently been unsealed in Grayson County Circuit Court.
    The grand jury met Oct. 26 and sealed several indictments until arrests could be made.
    Four suspects were indicted for carrying away (MBE’S) being the property of a U.S. Reserve unit and valued at more than $500.
    Paul Matthew Sark of Wytheville, Joseph William Lael and Kenneth Lamar Horlbeck, both of Galax, were each charged with two counts of grand larceny.

  • Man to enter plea in child solicitation case

    INDEPENDENCE — A plea and sentencing hearing has been set for James Michael Fantazier, who was charged in September 2017 with soliciting a minor via social media, allegedly through the abuse of public internet access at the local library.
    Fantazier is charged with possession of child pornography and use of communications systems to solicit a minor, according to the Grayson County Sheriff’s Office.

  • Trial set for New River shooting suspect

    INDEPENDENCE – A trial date has been set against a suspect charged in the July 14 malicious shooting of a man in Fries.
    According to the Virginia Courts database, John Ford Gilliam of Woodlawn, who has been charged with the use of a firearm in commission of a felony and malicious wounding (resulting in permanent impairment), has a trial date set in Grayson County Circuit Court on Jan. 24, 2019. The trial date is set for a total of four hours.

  • Final defendant sentenced in ‘Rolling Thunder’ case


    ABINGDON  –  Lelana Long, 37, of Meadows of Dan, was recently sentenced to 10 years and one month in prison, bringing to an end Operation Rolling Thunder, a drug investigation that charged a total of 24 people in Virginia and North Carolina for their part in a methamphetamine distribution network.
    Long was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Abingdon on a charge of methamphetamine trafficking, according to U.S. Attorney Thomas T. Cullen.

  • Former teacher to enter plea

    INDEPENDENCE — A former music teacher indicted on a number of charges in connection with alleged inappropriate relationships with minor students, has been scheduled for a plea and sentencing hearing in Grayson County Circuit Court next year.
    According to court records, Jessica Kincaid Snow, 33, of Fries, will be seen in court on Jan. 17, 2019, at 9 a.m. Snow was previously scheduled for a trial to be set in her case on Oct. 26.

  • Grayson Grand Jury indicts 32

    By Larry Chambers

    INDEPENDENCE – A Grayson County Circuit Court grand jury met in Independence last Friday and indicted 32 people on charges ranging from drug violations to embezzlement.
    The grand jury also indicted several people and sealed the charges until they can be arrested.
    Among those indicted was John Ford Gilliam, 47, of Woodlawn, charged with use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and malicious wounding.

  • Responses filed in wrongful death lawsuit

    INDEPENDENCE — Responses have been filed by Minnesota ATV manufacturing company Polaris Industries and off-road repair service company Hilltop Cycle, Inc. in a $5 million civil lawsuit filed by the family of the late Timothy “T.T.” Carico.

  • Several cases solved in Alleghany

    By Larry Chambers

    SPARTA, N.C. – Alleghany County  Sheriff Bryan Maines announced recently that arrests had been made in two breaking and entering and one larceny case.
    Maines said in a news release that on Oct. 8, Sgt. Zack Mooneyhan responded to the Legra development in Piney Creek. Upon arrival, Mooneyhan found that four homes had been broken into and several items taken.

  • Woodlawn man sentenced for sexual battery against child

    INDEPENDENCE — A Woodlawn man was recently sentenced in Grayson County Circuit Court for a sexual assault crime that was committed nearly a decade ago.
    A news release from the Grayson County Sheriff’s office states that Jason Dennis Kegley, 44, of Woodlawn, was sentenced on Sept. 20. A jury found Kegley guilty of aggravated sexual battery of a child under the age of 13 in June.