CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) _ A judge is set to consider several pretrial motions in the case of a man charged with abducting and killing a University of Virginia student. Jesse Matthew Jr. is charged with capital murder in the September 2014 disappearance and death of 18-year-old Hannah Graham. His trial is set for next summer. Albemarle County Circuit Judge Cheryl Higgins is set to consider about a dozen defense motions at Thursday’s hearing. Among them is a request that she bar people in the courtroom from displaying any symbols supporting Graham. The county’s chief prosecutor has filed court papers opposing that motion and most others.
From HokieSports.com: NASHVILLE, Tennessee (August 19, 2015) As the 2015 college football season kicks off, country music superstar Brad Paisley and IMG will be taking his show to select universities to provide free entertainment for the campus community. The tour kicks off September 6 at Virginia Tech. The “Country Nation College Tour presented by Zaxby’s” will roll into Blacksburg, Virginia on September 6 and set up on the Virginia Tech campus. Breakout country artist Eric Paslay will be the special guest.
(Continue reading for the full news release.)
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Virginia Republicans are warning Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe not to reappoint his pick to the Virginia Supreme Court next month when her initial appointment expires. Republicans issued a statement Tuesday suggesting such a reappointment would be “at best dubious and at worst unlawful.” But GOP leaders did not say what they would do if the governor does reappoint Justice Jane Marum Roush, as he has said he plans to do. Democrats foiled a GOP bid to unseat Roush Monday, and then unexpectedly adjourned the state Senate from a special session. McAuliffe believes the early Senate adjournment gives him the authority to appoint justices because the General Assembly is not in session. But Republicans said the legislature is still in session because the GOP-controlled House has not adjourned.
ROANOKE, Va. (AP) _ A Franklin County man who forced a woman to engage in prostitution has pleaded guilty to human trafficking. Tremayne Rontae Kirby entered the plea Tuesday in federal court in Roanoke. Kirby also pleaded guilty to one count of using interstate commerce to promote an enterprise involving prostitution. Prosecutors said Kirby admitted to operating a prostitution enterprise involving women in Virginia, North Carolina and New Jersey. Kirby used the money generated from the prostitution enterprise to pay for hotels, buy illegal drugs and food. Prosecutors said he hit, body-slammed, shook, and threatened one woman to get her to engage in prostitution. At sentencing, Kirby faces a minimum penalty of 15 years in prison and a maximum penalty of life in prison, and a fine of up to $250,000.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ The Virginia Lottery says it raised more than $500 million during the last fiscal year for Virginia’s public schools. The lottery says it increased its sales to more than $1.84 billion in fiscal year 2015. More than $1 billion in sales were generated from Scratcher tickets alone, setting a record. The lottery says more than $12 million in unclaimed winnings were donated to state’s Literary Fund, which benefits education by assisting technology upgrades in schools and teacher retirement funding. By law, every dollar of Lottery profits benefits K-12 education in Virginia. Lottery profits make up about 8 percent of Virginia’s K-12 education budget.
Listen: Lynchburg Police say Jessie Paige death is related to series of drug and gang-related shooting incidents
Lynchburg Police say the weekend shooting death of 16-year-old Jessie Paige is connected to a series of several other shooting incidents going back to last March. Lynchburg Police Captain Ryan Zuidema says all those incidents are drug and gang-related, and all are targeted attacks between specific groups and specific people. Zuidema says there is no threat to the community at large, but police are nonetheless concerned that an innocent citizen might become the victim of further incidents. WLNI’s Evan Jones has more:
Here are Captain Zuidema and Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Doucette at today’s news conference:
The State Senate abruptly adjourned its special session Monday, a session called to redraw the state’s congressional map. In June, a federal court concluded for a second time that legislators in 2012 illegally packed black voters into the 3rd District in order to make adjacent districts safer for Republican incumbents. The panel gave lawmakers until Sept. 1 to draw a new map. Republicans had unsuccessfully pushed for an extended deadline, saying they want to wait and see if the U.S. Supreme Court will overrule the panel.On Monday, Senate Democratic Caucus Chairman Sen. A. Donald McEachin said it was clear the General Assembly lacked the political will to redraw congressional boundaries and the Senate should just adjourn. The move sets up the possibility that federal judges could impose a congressional map of their own design, as they’ve done in in other states. Republicans blasted the Democrats’ maneuver as “blatantly hypocritical and deeply irresponsible.” “Democrats have single-handedly shutdown any possibility of a legislative remedy on redistricting and have no one to blame but themselves,” GOP leaders said in a statement.
RICHMOND, Va. (AP) _ Former Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell has made a final plea to a federal court to let him remain free while he appeals his public corruption convictions to the U.S. Supreme Court. In court papers Monday, attorneys for McDonnell argued that federal prosecutors are off base in suggesting the Supreme Court is unlikely to take his case. McDonnell says his case clearly raises important legal questions that merit Supreme Court review. McDonnell and his wife, Maureen, were convicted of doing favors for a wealthy businessman in exchange for more than $165,000 in gifts and loans. He was sentenced to two years in prison. She got one year and one day. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals last week refused to reconsider a three-judge panel’s ruling upholding Bob McDonnell’s convictions.
Virginia Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe says he will reappoint Justice Jane Marum Roush next month when her initial appointment expires. McAuliffe told reporters his plans Monday after the state Senate adjourned from a special legislative session meant to produce a new state congressional map and settle a state Supreme Court appointment. Republicans, angry that McAuliffe had not properly consulted them about Roush’s appointment, tried unsuccessfully Monday to advance their own pick for the high court. GOP lawmakers said Monday that McAuliffe wont’ have the legal authority to reappoint Roush next month because the full General Assembly has not adjourned. But McAuliffe said there’s legal precedent for reappointing Roush and said the Republican opposition to her appointment has made the GOP look “small” and ineffective.