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Crime and Public Safety

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From Lynchburg Police: The Lynchburg Police Department is investigating a malicious wounding that occurred this afternoon.

On May 23, 2020 before 4:00 p.m., a juvenile male arrived at Lynchburg General Hospital with a gunshot wound that he reportedly received on D Street near Norwood Street. The gunshot wound is considered non-life threatening at this time. The LPD has not responded to any shots fired calls this afternoon.

This is an ongoing investigation. Any additional information will be released as an update to this news release.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Det. S. Bond at (434) 455-6161 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 798-5900. Enter a tip online at http://p3tips.com or use the P3 app on a mobile device.

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — A former Virginia prosecutor faces a disciplinary hearing over his handling of a plea agreement in a fatal boat crash.

Jan Smith, who was Lancaster County’s top prosecutor, had negotiated an agreement for John Randolph Hooper to serve one year in jail after pleading guilty in the August 2017 death of 31-year-old Graham McCormick.

A Virginia State Bar subcommittee concluded Smith violated rules of professional conduct when he discussed the deal with McCormick’s family and “wrongfully and inaccurately” suggested that the judge overseeing the case had prejudged it, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. McCormick’s family believed the deal was too lenient.

The subcommittee said Smith violated rules against knowingly making a false statement of fact or law. A disciplinary hearing has not been scheduled yet. Smith could face suspension or revocation of his law license if the charges are proved.

Smith lost a November election after one term as the county’s top prosecutor. He has 21 days to respond to the subcommittee’s findings.

McCormick’s body was found floating in a creek off the Rappahannock River. The state medical examiner concluded that McCormick’s death was caused by drowning and that blunt-force trauma was a contributing factor.

McCormick and Hooper, a college friend, were intoxicated when they went for a ride in a boat that crashed into a bulkhead, according to evidence provided during a plea hearing. Hooper, 34, of Richmond, was indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter and failure to render aid.

From Lynchburg Police: The Lynchburg Police Department is searching for a suspect after an armed robbery that occurred at the Marathon Quick-E on Wards Road last night.

On May 12, 2020 at 11:52 p.m., officers responded to 2209 Wards Rd. for a report of an armed robbery. A male armed with a machete entered the store and obtained an undisclosed amount of money from the business. The suspect exited the business and ran towards Sheffield Drive. The suspect is a black male between 5’8” and 5’10″ and was wearing a black mask covering his face, a gray hooded sweatshirt, and black pants.

This is an ongoing investigation. Any additional information will be released as an update to this news release.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Det. Bond at (434) 455-6161 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 798-5900.

UPDATE FROM LYNCHBURG POLICE: The LPD has confirmed the driver was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the crash.

PREVIOUS: The Lynchburg Police Department is investigating after a crash on Old Forest Road early this morning that damaged vehicles and two homes. On May 11, 2020, at 3:21 a.m., officers responded to the 800-block of Old Forest Road for a report of a motor vehicle crash. When officers arrived, they located the driver, who was the only occupant of the vehicle. He was taken to Lynchburg General Hospital with severe injuries. The vehicle appeared to have lost control and ran off the road while traveling on Old Forest Road at a high rate of speed. The vehicle struck three parked vehicles and a residence and debris caused property damage to a second residence. This is an ongoing investigation. Any additional information will be released as an update to this news release. Anyone with information about this crash is asked to call Officer M. Bauserman at (434) 455-6047.


(from Lynchburg PD) LYNCHBURG, Va. – The Lynchburg Police Department has taken a suspect into custody after a barricade lasting more than three hours. On May 8, 2020 at 4:50 p.m., officers responded to the 400-block of Hillside Court for a report of a disorderly situation.  When officers arrived, they attempted to speak with the suspect, Joseph Akeem Anderson, 30, of Lynchburg, and he barricaded himself in a residence. Anderson fired multiple shots inside his residence. Members of the Lynchburg Police Department’s Tactical Unit and Crisis Negotiations Team responded to assist with taking Anderson into custody. After multiple attempts to speak with Anderson, chemical agents were deployed.

Anderson eventually surrendered and Tactical officers took him into custody on the following charges: Malicious wounding, Brandishing a firearm, Discharging a firearm in the city limits , Reckless handling of a firearm, Child endangerment, Use of a firearm in commission of a felony
Possession of a firearm by a convicted felon, This is an ongoing investigation.

NEWS RELEASE: The Lynchburg Police Department is investigating a malicious wounding that occurred this afternoon.

On April 24, 2020 at 12:52 p.m., officers responded to the 1500-block of Taylor Street for a report of a malicious wounding. One victim was transported to the hospital with a gunshot wound. The wound is considered non-life-threatening at this time. The LPD is searching for two black males who fled the scene and ran up 16th Street. One suspect was wearing a green hooded sweatshirt and the second suspect was wearing a grey or black hooded sweatshirt.

Anyone with information about this incident is asked to contact Det. Dubie at (434) 455-6102 or Crime Stoppers at (888) 798-5900. Enter a tip online at http://p3tips.com or use the P3 app on a mobile device.

This is an ongoing investigation. Any additional information will be released as an update to this news release.

PREVIOUS:  We are currently on scene investigating a malicious wounding that occurred in the 1500-block of Taylor St. One victim was transported to LGH with a gunshot wound. The LPD is currently searching for the suspect. Any additional updates will be posted here before news release.

 

MGN

NEWS RELEASE: The Virginia State Police is investigating a traffic pursuit and officer involved shooting which occurred Wednesday, April 22, 2020 on Falling Creek Road in Bedford County.

Troopers responded to assist the Town of Bedford Police Department and  the  Bedford County Sheriff’s Office with a traffic pursuit involving a 1998 Chrysler Sebring in the Town of Bedford; for several traffic violations. The Chrysler struck two State Police cars then crashed into a fence in the 3800 block of Falling Creek Road. The driver exited the vehicle and pointed a firearm at the Trooper, which discharged his service weapon striking the suspect. The subject was flown to Roanoke Memorial Hospital with life threatening injuries.
The subject was identified as Daniel Ira Newman, 48, of Bedford, Va. No officers were injured in the incident.
The Virginia State Police, Bureau of Criminal Investigation, Salem Division, is investigating the shooting, and the Trooper involved has been placed on Administrative Leave until the investigation has been completed. The results of the investigation will then be turned over to the Bedford County Commonwealth Attorney’s Office.
Charges are pending for the Newman subject.
A section of Falling Creek Road remained closed to all traffic from 12:52 a.m. until 6:35 a.m. while the investigation was conducted.

Photo: ACSO

An Amherst County man faces child pornography charges. The sheriff’s office says the investigation began with a complaint received from an online chat service. Joel Wooldridge of Monroe faces multiple charges, including possessing child porn and soliciting a minor.

NEWS RELEASE: As a result of a complaint received from an online chat service, the Amherst County Sheriff’s Office, with the help of the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office and the Southern Virginia ICAC Taskforce has arrested Joel M. Wooldridge of Monroe, Va. for multiple counts of possession of child pornography and the solicitation of a minor via electronic devices. Wooldridge is currently being held at the Blue Ridge Regional Jail without bond. This is an ongoing investigation where more charges are possible. Anyone in the public that has information that they think may be helpful to this investigation is urged to call Investigator Greg Jones with the Amherst County Sheriff’s Office at 434-946-9373 or Crime Stoppers at 1-888-798-5900. You also can visit the Central Virginia Crime Stoppers website at  www.crimestoppers.org, enter a tip online at http://p3tips.com, or use the P3 app on your mobile device.

From Bedford County Sheriff’s Office: At 8:00 p.m. April 17, 2020, Bedford County Sheriff’s Office received a teletype message from the Rockingham County, Virginia, Sheriff’s Office. The teletype requested Bedford County Sheriff’s deputies check an address on Centerville Road in reference to a parental abduction case out of their jurisdiction. The teletype advised that a husband and wife, Paul Ritchie Jr. and April Ritchie, were possibly at this location with their 2 year old and 13 year old children. The children were considered missing and endangered. They were believed to be traveling in a minivan.

At 8:30 p.m., Bedford County Sheriff’s deputies responded to the address and as they were approaching the location on foot, they observed a male subject sitting in a minivan. The male started the vehicle and sped off. At 8:35 p.m. deputies initiated a pursuit of the minivan. Other deputies along with Bedford Town police officers checked the address and found April Ritchie, age 34, of Timberville, Va., and the two children there. She was taken into custody for two counts of kidnapping by a parent and a capias for fail to appear in Rockingham County J&D Court.

Bedford County Sheriff’s deputies pursued the minivan at speeds between 40 mph up to 80 mph north on Rt. 122, Big Island Highway, to Rt. 501. The minivan turned left onto Rt. 501, Lee Jackson Highway, and traveled north to Rt. 130 into Amherst County. At that time, Amherst County Sheriff’s deputies took the lead in the pursuit and at 9:07 p.m. were able to get the minivan stopped. Paul E. Ritchie Jr., age 38, of Timberville, Va., was taken into custody. He was charged with felony elude police, resisting arrest, along with the Rockingham County kidnapping by a parent charges.

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