• Fantazier enters guilty plea

    An Independence man pleaded guilty in Grayson County Circuit Court on Thursday to charges involving the soliciting of a minor through the use of public internet access at the local library.
    James Michael Fantazier was charged in September, 2017 with possession of child pornography and the use of communications systems to solicit a minor. The chid pornography charge was amended to state that the minor was less than 18 years of age, rather than less than 15 years of age, before Fantazier submitted his plea.

  • State receives $11.5M settlement from Wells Fargo

    Virginia will receive $11.5 million as its share of a settlement by Wells Fargo Bank to resolve claims that the bank violated state consumer protection laws.
    Anyone who feels they were victims of the bank’s improper business practices will be able to seek restitution.

  • Court dates set for intoxication charges

    Court dates are pending in two localities regarding public intoxication charges against former director of Grayson County Social Services, Anthony Isom.
    Isom was charged in March and April of this year with a DUI and other alcohol-related offenses in Galax, Grayson County and Smyth County. According to earlier police reports, Isom was charged with public intoxication in Grayson County on March 19, after being found walking along Skyline Highway.

  • Galax man sentenced for sex crimes

    The Grayson County Sheriff’s Office announced in a press release Monday morning that Adam Lee Haga, 44, of Galax, was sentenced in Grayson County Circuit Court for sex crimes against children.
    According to the news release, Haga appeared before the Grayson County Circuit Court on Oct. 11, for allegations that he had molested children.
    “Investigator, Mico Davis began investigating Haga in July of 2017, when he responded to complaints that Haga had sexually abused two girls from his Galax neighborhood,” the release read.

  • Pastor charged with molesting young girl

    ELK CREEK — A 76-year-old pastor from Grayson County has been charged in West Virginia with molesting a girl while visiting that area.
    Daniel Houston Shafer of Elk Creek was held without bond in the New River Valley Regional Jail after Virginia State Police served a warrant from West Virginia on Nov. 29, charging him with first-degree sexual abuse. Shafer was reportedly arrested after a funeral he was officiating in Wytheville.

  • Sparta suspects face drug charges


    SPARTA, N.C. – Five Sparta residents were recently arrested on 17 drug and other charges.
    The Alleghany County Sheriff’s Department was joined in the investigation by the U.S. Marshall’s Service and the N.C. Department of Public Safety Probation and Parole.

  • 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.