She joins the distinguished list that includes reporters Ellen Blitz, Jeff Branscome, Frank Delano, Keith Epps, Robin Knepper, and editors Dick Hammerstrom, Laura Hutchison, Phil Jenkins.
From an article written by Pamela Gould about the abduction, robbery, and presumptive murder of Yong Hui Zhang*:
An online check of court records by The Free Lance-Star turned up no criminal charges for either suspect [Jermaine Montgomery or Marcey White] in the Fredericksburg region or in the Tidewater area, Southampton or Sussex.
Well you guys did an excellent job of checking the independent city of Franklin**, the very jurisdiction they were arrested in!
A Jermaine Montgomery with the birthday of September 16th has been charged with the following in Franklin:
A felony charge of credit card fraud which was reduced to a misdemeanor charge of “petty [sic] larceny” which resulted in a deposition of guilty on December 3, 2007 (case number: GC07002067-00).
A felony charge for illegally obtaining a credit card number was dismissed on December 3, 2007 as well (probably a plea bargain involved there) (case number: GC07002069-00).
A pending case for a show cause for failure to pay restitution (case number: GC07002067-01).
On November 30, 2007 he was found guilty of a seat belt violation for a eight to fifteen year old as well as having no driver’s license (case numbers: GT07001731-00 & GT07001732-00). He was found not guilty of operating an uninspected vehicle (case number: GT07001732-00).
And of course, that isn’t the only error in the story unfortunately (or fortunately for me since it gives me something to write about):
Under state law, a slaying in the commission of another felony, including abduction or robbery, qualifies for a charge of capital murder and a possible death sentence.
You would think that a newspaper would do a little due diligence and bother doing some research before they start throwing the words “capital murder” around.
First, not every “slaying in the commission of another felony” is capital murder. You may be thinking of felony murder Ms. Gould. Felony murder (§ 18.2-33) is punished as second-degree murder in Virginia (“punishable by confinement in a state correctional facility for not less than five nor more than forty years” [§ 18.2-32]).
While, yes, a “willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of any person in the commission of robbery or attempted robbery” is considered capital murder (§ 18.2-31(4)), a capital murder charge for abduction requires the “willful, deliberate, and premeditated killing of any person in the commission of abduction […] when such abduction was committed with the intent to extort money or a pecuniary [monetary] benefit or with the intent to defile the victim of such abduction” (§ 18.2-31(1)) [emphasis mine].
Just so you know Free Lance–Dog Trainer, you could hire me as an ombudsman or editor to keep you guys straight.
*Get your own link. I refuse to link to that sorry excuse of a newspaper.
**Not to be confused with the county of Franklin, which is located in southwestern Virginia.