Articles from August 2007



Armed robbery in Carmel Church UPDATE

http://carolinejustice.blogspot.com/2007/08/caroline-county-sheriffs-office-p.html

August 30, 2007 Roundup

Blog stuff:

  1. The new 2007 General Election section has links for candidates running for election this year. If I missed one contact me.
  2. The new Alert Systems section to the right which contains links to alert systems that have been set up by local jurisdictions, including Caroline, King George, and Stafford counties, University of Mary Washington, and Germanna Community College. I also threw in some of the farther away counties and colleges for those that commute or have family that are attending them. If you have links to any more contact me.
  3. Internet Haganah has been added to the National links section. Check it out.

Justice in Caroline? Nope, just nolle prosequis. Part 5, apparently it’s okay to assault law enforcement officers.

From The Free Lance-Star (August 23, 2007): Police briefs:

A man who was to be arraigned and tried for a felony assault and battery of a Caroline County sheriff’s deputy yesterday ended up with two months in jail, which he had already served.

John Lamont Walton repeated the words “thank you” over and over after finding out that Commonwealth’s Attorney Harvey Latney would reduce his charges to a misdemeanor assault if he’d plead guilty.

The judge ordered him to serve six months in jail, four suspended with credit for time served and to pay his court costs. Walton had already served two months in jail.

The deputy he was charged with assaulting, J.K. Miller didn’t testify.

  • John Lamont Walton’s partial criminal history (felonies in bold, nolle prosequi by Harvey Latney in italics):
    • August 22, 2007, Caroline County Circuit:
      • Guilty – Assault and battery [knock back from felony assault on a law enforcement officer].
    • June 8, 2007, Caroline County General District:
      • Nolle prosequi – Assault on law enforcement officer.
      • Nolle prosequi – Obstruction of justice.
      • Nolle prosequi – Disorderly conduct.
      • Nolle prosequi – Spitting in public place.
      • Nolle prosequi – Spitting in public place.
    • June 2, 2006, Caroline County General District:
      • Guilty – Assault and battery.
    • December 5, 2003, Caroline County General District:
      • Guilty – Petit larceny.
      • Guilty – Driving on suspended license.
      • Guilty – Reckless driving.

Armed robbery in Carmel Church.

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch: Caroline store clerk wounded:

A convenience-store clerk was shot during an attempted armed robbery in Caroline County this morning.

Three males wearing ski masks entered an Exxon station in the Carmel Church area around 1:50 a.m. and demanded money, Caroline Sheriff Tony Lippa said.

The gunman fired one warning shot at the clerk after his demands were not met, then shot the clerk once in the hand. The clerk was transported to a local hospital for treatment of an injury that was not life-threatening, Lippa said.

The suspects fled in a tan-colored minivan, possibly a Ford Windstar, and headed in an unknown direction. They are described as three males, with the gunman wearing a black hooded sweatshirt with “South Pole” on it.

Anyone with information is asked to call an anonymous tip line at (804) 633-1133.

Senator Warner to tell intention Friday

From the Richmond Times-Dispatch: Sen. Warner to tell intention Friday:

Sen. John W. Warner, 80 and a 28-year Senate veteran, plans to announce tomorrow in Charlottesville a decision on seeking re-election in 2008.

Grr…You do not waive extradition, you waive an extradition hearing!

From WUSA9 in Washington, D.C.: Juvenile Suspect In Newark Slayings To Waive Extradition:

One of the six suspects arrested in the murders of three college students could be on his way back to New Jersey as early as Thursday.

Sixteen-year-old Alexander Alfaro will appear in court in Virginia on Thursday and will waive extradition, Paul Ebert, Commonwealth Attorney for Prince William County, Va., said Wednesday.

You do not waive extradition! Extradition is the process of taking a suspect from one jurisdiction to another! You waive an extradition hearing, you morons!

Another drug dealer behind bars…

From Caroline County Sheriff’s Office: More Drug Arrests in Caroline:

William J. Coleman, 36, of Bowling Green, a suspect accused of transporting illegal drugs from Boston and distributing those drugs in the Bowling Green area has been captured.

The Caroline County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant at Coleman’s residence in Lakeshore Trailer Park on August 3, 2007, which resulted in the seizure of a sizeable quantity of narcotics.  Coleman was able to escape capture at the time of the search warrant.  Caroline Narcotics Officers worked in conjunction with Detectives from the Massachusetts State Police and the Chicopee, Massachusetts Police Department to locate and arrest Coleman.

Coleman is currently being held without bond in Massachusetts.  As a result of this investigation he has been charged with additional drug related charges by the Chicopee Massachusetts Police Department. 

Following Coleman’s court appearance for the charges in Massachusetts Coleman will be extradited back to Caroline County in order to face prosecution for drug distribution charges stemming from the Caroline Sheriff’s Office investigation.

Sheriff Lippa said, “This apprehension was a success in large part due to tips and information provided by the community.  I would like to give a special thanks to all of the citizens that continue to assist the Caroline County Sheriff’s Office in our fight against crime and our war on illegal drugs.”

Your county tax dollars at work…

Editing Wikipedia? I kid you not:

Someone with the IP address 166.61.231.210 has made three anonymous edits (#1 on September 14, 2006, #2 on September 14, 2006, and #3 on July 17, 2007) to the Caroline County, Virginia Wikipedia page. The person added the following to the page:

During the Colonial Period, Caroline County was the birthplace of Thoroughbred Racing in North America. Arabian horses were imported from England to provide the basis for American breeding stock.

Patriot Edmund Pendleton played a large role in the Virginia Resolution for Independence (1775) and Caroline native, John Penn, was a signer of the Declaration of Independence (www.foundersofamerica.org).

Explorers, William Clark and his slave, York, were members of the Lewis and Clark Expedition (1803); both were born near what is now Ladysmith, Virginia in Caroline.

[…]

Caroline County is serviced by US Interstate 95 and has the second most profitable interchange in Virginia at Carmel Church, exit 104.

[…]

Economic growth in Caroline in the last five years have been rapid, mostly due to affordable housing and close proximity to Northern Virginia and Washington D.C. In 2005, Caroline was recognized as the 10th Fastest Growing County in America. Also in 2005, Caroline County won the Virginia Community Ecomomic [sic] Development Award (CEDA) for Business Recruitment and the CEDA Award for the entire south from the Southern Economic Development Council.

Among recent Economic Development successes in Caroline have been the recruitment of the State Fair of Virginia, to open in 2008 (previously in Richmond for 151 years), Remuda Ranch, The Virginia Sports Complex, and the multi-national electronics firm, M.C. Dean.

The IP address, 166.61.231.210, returns to a subdomain of co.caroline.va.us, the official Caroline County Government website.

Now, I have three questions: a) What Caroline County government employee edited this Wikipedia page?; b) Is the county paying this employee to edit Wikipedia pages?; and c) Do I have to sit in his office and find something more important for him to do?

I have a feeling the employee in question is (or works for) the Director of Economic Development Gary Wilson. Considering most of the information placed on the Wikipedia page appears to be from Gary Wilson’s own county website (note that he has a link to www.foundersofamerica.org on his website, which is used as a source in the Wikipedia page).

UPDATE: Turns out that Gary Wilson is the Project Director of the www.foundersofamerica.org website (his administrative assistant, Cassie Ruby, is also an assistant on the website as well).

It also begs the question of why the county is paying $262,015 for Economic Development and the personnel there can’t find anything better to do than edit Wikipedia pages.

I’m guessing the phrase “equal protection” doesn’t mean anything to you… Part 12, the privileged class

From The Washington Post: Va. Bad-Driver Fees Could Snag Officials [emphasis mine]:

When Virginia Gov. Timothy M. Kaine and House Speaker William J. Howell were mulling over what sort of motorists to target with the state’s new abusive-driver fees, they could have drawn on experience: their own run-ins with the law.

In 1997 and 2001, Kaine (D) was ticketed for going 72 and 73 mph in 55 mph zones, court records show. Another three and two miles per hour would have brought charges of reckless driving for going 20 over the speed limit, an offense that now comes with a mandatory $1,050 fee in addition to judge-imposed penalties.

The speaker’s foot appears to have a bit more lead in it. In 2002, Howell (R-Stafford) was ticketed for reckless driving, charged with going 75 mph on a Caroline County road, although the charge was reduced to simple speeding — 74 in a 55 mph zone — in court, he confirmed.

Awfully convenient…

Kaine and Howell acknowledged speeding but said the offenses do not make them abusive drivers.

Of course not.

Within the past year, House Majority Leader H. Morgan Griffith (R-Salem) and House Republican Caucus chairman Terry G. Kilgore (Scott) received speeding tickets in Rockbridge County for driving 80 in a 65 mph zone — one mile per hour short of a reckless-driving charge, had they exceeded 80mph. Their records show each has an additional speeding violation.

A review of the driving histories of the state’s leading lawmakers and those from Northern Virginia shows that they are just as susceptible, if not more so, to the kind of behind-the-wheel behavior that they aimed to curb with the new fees, which have been widely derided since they took effect July 1.

Their driving records were gathered from local courts and personal interviews and may not represent lawmakers’ entire driving records.

[…]

But if some of the state’s leading lawmakers — as well as several backbenchers — qualify, just who are the so-called abusive drivers?

“Just because you get one [ticket for going] 20 miles over, you may not be an abusive driver,” Kilgore said. “We probably need to look at that.”

Oh, now you’re going to look at it, how considerate.

At a news conference last week, Howell and other Republican leaders said that state police issued 23 percent fewer reckless driving violations and 11 percent fewer speeding tickets in July than in July 2006 — saying this is evidence that the fees are making motorists slow down. At the same time, Republicans called for changes to the legislation that would exempt some offenses — including certain types of reckless driving — from the hefty fees.

You think maybe the deputies, troopers, and officers may not be writing as many reckless driving tickets because they don’t want to stick the person with a $1,050 “fee”?

Of course, you’ll be changing the law after the election, instead of calling for a special session, how convenient.

[…]

Del. Vivian E. Watts (D-Fairfax) was convicted of reckless driving in 1998 for going 20 mph over the limit. Del. Adam P. Ebbin (D-Alexandria) paid a fine for driving 77 in a 55 mph zone in 2000, although he was charged only with speeding. Ebbin was charged with reckless driving in 2003, but that case was dropped by the prosecution, according to court records.

Del. Thomas Davis Rust (R-Fairfax), who proposed the fees in 2005, was caught speeding in 1996, going 70 in a 55 mph zone. Del. Albert C. Eisenberg (D-Arlington) got a ticket for doing 73 in a 55 mph zone in 2000, and Sen. H. Russell Potts Jr. (R-Winchester) was stopped for going 71 in a 55 mph zone in 1994. In 1990, Sen. Janet D. Howell (D-Fairfax) received a ticket for driving 70 to 74 mph where the speed limit was 55. Del. Mark D. Sickles (D-Fairfax) was ticketed for going 50 to 54 in a 35 mph zone in 1992.

[…]

Nonetheless, Ault said he thinks the fees are unfair partly because lawmakers might receive special treatment in court, given their stature in the commonwealth.

“Legislators have connections within the court system — they have legal connections, they have name recognition,” Ault said. “Just because these legislators can get their tickets reduced doesn’t mean the average Virginia citizen can.”

You mean, like being the ones that elect the judges for General District court?

Registration Open For Caroline Alert System

From http://www.visitcaroline.com/carolinealert.html:

REGISTRATION OPEN FOR CAROLINE ALERT SYSTEM

Registration is now being accepted for Caroline County’s new Alert System.

Caroline Alert is an emergency communication system sponsored by County government, emergency management officials, law enforcement and first responders to send emergency alerts, notifications and updates to those who want to register. Updates can be received on a cell phone, pager, Blackberry, PDA and and/or e-mail account on a desktop or laptop computer.

For example, in the event of an emergency such as a severe weather incident, Caroline County emergency management personnel will send important alerts, updates and instructions to the cell phone or other devices using text message (SMS) feature or to the respective e-mail account. The same process will work for example in the Parks and Recreation Department to notify parents, players and coaches of schedule changes and/or cancellations.

Registration is free to anyone who lives or works in Caroline County. Subscribers will be responsible for any text message costs charged by their wireless carrier.

Subscribers will have the choice to register for what notifications are of interest to them by visiting www.CarolineAlert.com. Once the process is complete, subscribers will start receiving alerts in the very near future.

The information you submit is private and will not be viewed or shared by anyone other than administrative personnel.


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