A Lynchburg man is now on trial for allegedly killing his child’s mother at her Amherst County home last January. Fifty-year-old Cordell Carter yesterday (Wednesday) pleaded not guilty in the shooting death of 30-year-old Jennifer Johnson. Carter faces a first-degree murder charge. The prosecution suggested that the victim may have been holding sex tapes of Carter as blackmail. The News & Advance reports that may have been what prompted an argument between the two that led to the murder.
The Campbell County Library is offering a literature-based spin on the popular “speed-dating” format, which is meant to link readers to intriguing books. Participants in the upcoming Speed Book Talk sessions are asked to bring four books to recommend and discuss. In four minutes, they’ll rotate and explain why each selection is a favorite. Two sessions will be held next week; The first will be held on Monday, at the Timbrook Library on Timberlake Road, the second at the Staunton River Memorial Library in Altavista on Thursday, September 25. Both sessions will be held from 6:30 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. Participants are encouraged to dress as a character from their book choices.
The parents of a missing University of Virginia student say they fear she is the victim of “foul play.” Charlottesville police released a statement Wednesday from 18-year-old Hanna Graham’s parents expressing their fears for her safety. Police say they have no hard evidence to confirm foul play in her disappearance.
The Lynchburg Humane Society is one of three finalists in the running to win the $25,000 Community Engagement Award in the 2014 ASPCA Rachael Ray $100K Challenge. The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals announced Wednesday the other finalists as Clay County Animal Care & Control in Green Cove Springs, Fla. and Kansas City Pet Project in Kansas City, Mo. All three also are in the running to win the $100,000 grand prize. The winners for the national event will be announced on October 7, 2014. Roanoke’s Angels of Assisi also had been competing for the prize in the contest that ran from June through August of this year.
(Continue reading for news release from the ASPCA)
Updated: Thurs., Sept. 18 at 7:11 a.m.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) _ Police say they’ve reviewed additional surveillance videos from two businesses showing a missing University of Virginia student and others walking the night she disappeared. Charlottesville police Capt. Gary Pleasants said Wednesday night the videos of 18-year-old Hannah E. Graham taken early Saturday are from the Downtown Mall, a popular row of shops and restaurants. According to the Daily Progress (http://bit.ly/1uJMFuy), Pleasants says one video shows Graham walking by a shop’s doorway, and a male who had stopped there steps out and follows her. Pleasants says another business video filmed two minutes later shows the same male following Graham, who is next to someone else. Police released two other surveillance videos earlier Wednesday showing her walking past a pub and running past a service station. Graham’s friends reported her missing Sunday.
ALBANY, Ga. (AP) _ A jury weighing criminal charges against the owner of a Georgia peanut plant blamed for a nationwide salmonella outbreak will decide the case without hearing one fact — that nine people died after eating the company’s tainted peanut butter. Jury deliberations were scheduled to resume Thursday in the federal trial of former Peanut Corporation of America owner Stewart Parnell and two co-defendants. Parnell ran the company from his home outside of Lynchburg, Va. Prosecutors say Parnell knowingly shipped contaminated peanut butter and faked lab tests for salmonella. During nearly six weeks of testimony, jurors heard evidence that people got sick. But prosecutors never mentioned deaths. U.S. Attorney Michael Moore says prosecutors felt they could build their strongest case around fraud charges, and testimony regarding deaths would have distracted jurors and possibly made any convictions vulnerable to appeals.
Staff writer Velvet Hall contributed to this report.