STS&G News

Norfolk man pleads guilty to killing, avoids death penalty

Kentrell L. Sanderson, represented by attorney Timothy J. Quick of the law firm of Rabinowitz, Swartz, Taliaferro, Swartz & Goodove, pleaded guilty Wednesday to capital murder in the slaying of his 12-year-old stepdaughter, and the judge who sentenced him to life said the prosecution had been compromised because the state medical examiner involved had drug convictions. The defense team uncovered this fact which was previously undisclosed by the medical examiner's office and unknown to prosecutors. The Commonwealth's Attorney previously said he would seek the death penalty for Sanderson at his trial, which had been set to begin in March.

Waterside Garage Shooter Acquitted of Murder Charge

A jury found the man accused of murder, attempted murder, and malicious wounding in a March shooting at the Waterside parking garage guilty only of unlawful wounding Friday, and sentenced him to serve 90 days in jail and pay a $2,500 fine. He was represented by Jeffrey Swartz of the law firm of Rabinowitz, Swartz, Taliaferro, Swartz & Goodove. He was acquitted of all other charges.

Memorial service honors crash victim

PORTSMOUTH, Va. – He was his parents’ only son, but Hunter Richardson became a brother to many. “Just him being there; his smile could brighten up a room, the worst day, he could turn it into the best,” friend Samuel Markham said.

Richardson’s life was honored Tuesday morning at a memorial service just 4 days after he died. “It’s overwhelming, its too much , it’s still so surreal, it’s I don’t know,” sighed Andrew Sullivan.

For some, it was a day to mourn a loss; for others, a time to celebrate a life. But together, they gathered to support one family. Centenary United Methodist Church holds approximately 700 people in its sanctuary and balcony. Still, there was standing room only.

“It speaks volumes about his character, a tremendous human being, it’s hard to put into words.”

“God makes everything happen for a reason, I’m sure He has a reason for this and you can see how many lives he touched.”

It directly touched Garrett Staats life. Staats’ daughter Charlotte survived the crash. She and Richardson were walking across the street near Town Center when they were hit. Police said the person driving the car, Natasha Herzog, 29, was drunk.

“There’s always a lesson, the lesson’s been being told for I don’t know how many years, I guess since the invention of the MADD organization, so the lesson has been there, the message has been there, just got to get somebody to listen to it,” Staats excliamed.

In a sad irony, tonight the local chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving will hold it’s annual vigil to remember local victims.

“We’re going to be lighting a candle with each victim’s name in our local area and unfortunately that list continues to grow,” said Southside […]

Hearing continued for Virginia Beach officer accused of DUI

Hearing continued for Virginia Beach officer accused of DUI
Posted on August 15, 2009 at 3:59 PM

Updated Friday, Oct 30 at 10:58 AM

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VIRGINIA BEACH – A hearing for a Virginia Beach police officer accused of DUI was continued until September at the request of his defense attorney, Larry Slipow.

Officer Bryan Womble was arrested in June after police say he got into a car accident and left the scene. Police arrested Womble a few blocks away.

Officer Womble has been on administrative duty since the night of his arrest.

Video: Beach officer faces DUI charges in court today

Police say the 36 year-old officer crashed his car into another car at the corner of 20th street and pacific avenue.

Reports show that the night officer Womble was arrested, his blood alcohol content was almost twice the legal limit.

Making matters worse, he was charged with hit and run for allegedly trying to leave the scene of the accident.

His employment with the police department could be in jeopardy depending on the outcome of the case.

There are questions as to whether it will affect pending cases, as well.

Officer Womble had been a decorated member of the department’s traffic enforcement team.

He arrested NFL star Bruce Smith in may on DUI charges, and testified against him earlier this month.

Womble still has numerous DUI cases pending in court in which he will testify for the prosecution. Defense attorneys have been asking to reschedule those cases for after Womble’s hearing.

The local president of mother’s against drunk driving doesn’t believe it will affect their outcome.

“I think it’s much ado about nothing, I’m not aware of any relevance that Officer Womble’s actions as a private citizen as to how it would weigh in on any pending DUI case,” said […]

Va. Beach officer accused of DUI now charged with hit-and-run

A Virginia Beach police officer charged with DUI is now facing a hit-and-run charge. The new charge against Officer Bryan Womble is related to his May 20 drunken driving arrest, according to police spokesman MPO Adam Bernstein. The Chesapeake special prosecutor on the case determined there was enough evidence to prove Womble tried to flee the crash scene after colliding with a 1995 Dodge Neon near the Oceanfront. The hit-and-run charge is a misdemeanor and not a violent crime, so police determined Womble could remain on administrative duty, assigned to him after his DUI arrest.

Motorists who paid abusive driver fines to be offered refunds

The Virginia Supreme Court will send letters this week to some of South Hampton Roads’ worst drivers, offering them refunds for drunken- and reckless-driving fees.
Some were convicted of eluding police during the commission of a crime, while others were caught behind the wheel after lower courts had already revoked their licenses and ordered them not to drive.
At least 4,204 drivers convicted in the five cities as of the end of 2007 will be told the special fees they were once asked to pay are forgiven, according to the state Supreme Court. Those who have already paid hundreds of dollars of those extra fees will be getting refund checks.
The bad drivers are still obligated to pay their original fines for DUI, reckless driving and other offenses. They still have to pay court costs and suffer the burden of higher vehicle insurance because of their offenses.
But they’ll no longer pay the “abusive driver fees” because last month Gov. Timothy M. Kaine was persuaded by a public uproar to sign the repeal of a law that he and the General Assembly had hoped would help finance millions in interstate maintenance projects.
The fees were a small part of a huge 2007 transportation bill and were intended to punish the worst drivers with a new category of fine – a “civil remedial fee” – that would apply to crimes or misdemeanors committed while driving.
Simple traffic infractions such as ignoring a highway sign or failing to yield were not subject to the harsh new fees.
The law ensnared an estimated 58,000 Virginians who were ordered to pay the fees after the law went into effect on July 1, 2007, said Katya Herndon, director of legislative and public relations for the Supreme […]

By |October 19th, 2008|STS&G News|0 Comments|

Motorists who paid abusive driver fines to be offered refunds

The Virginia Supreme Court will send letters this week to some of South Hampton Roads' worst drivers, offering them refunds for drunken- and reckless-driving fees. Some were convicted of eluding police during the commission of a crime, while others were caught behind the wheel after lower courts had already revoked their licenses and ordered them not to drive. At least 4,204 drivers convicted in the five cities as of the end of 2007 will be told the special fees they were once asked to pay are forgiven, according to the state Supreme Court. Those who have already paid hundreds of dollars of those extra fees will be getting refund checks.

DRUNKEN DRIVING FATALITIES UP IN VIRGINIA

Deaths due to drunken-driving accidents in 2006, up from 322 the year before. However, Hampton Roads deaths went down from 32 in 2005 to 22 in 2006.
For city-by-city breakdown, see Page 5. By Jen McCaffery
The Virginian-Pilot
Virginia police officers will be out in force looking to nab drunken drivers this Labor Day weekend, the third-most-deadly holiday for alcohol-related deaths.
The annual Checkpoint Strikeforce efforts are happening as state statistics show that for the first time in several years, the percentage of people killed by drunken drivers in Virginia has increased.
In 2005, there were 322 deaths in alcohol-related accidents, compared with 374 deaths in 2006, according to figures from the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles. However, in most South Hampton Roads cities, the number of fatalities from alcohol-related accidents during the same time period decreased, DMV statistics show.
Twenty-two people died locally in 2006, compared with 32 in 2005.
“Perhaps our friends in Hampton Roads are just listening a little better,” Virginia Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell said.
McDonnell, a former Virginia Beach legislator, helped implement a package of new laws that reformed the state’s DUI restrictions in 2004 .
They include harsher punishments for repeat offenders and mandatory jail time for some drunken-driving offenses.
According to the DMV report, Virginia Beach was the only city that recorded a significant increase in the number of fatalities from alcohol-related crashes .
Last year, Virginia Beach had 15 fatalities connected to people driving under the influence of alcohol.
In 2005, there were 10 deaths , DMV statistics show.
“We’ve come a long way, but the increasing number shows that impaired driving is a serious and high priority for both MADD and law enforcement,” said Mike Goodove , president of the Southside chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving […]

By |October 19th, 2007|STS&G News|0 Comments|

Drunken Driving Fatalities Up In Virginia

Virginia police officers will be out in force looking to nab drunken drivers this Labor Day weekend, the third-most-deadly holiday for alcohol-related deaths. The annual Checkpoint Strikeforce efforts are happening as state statistics show that for the first time in several years, the percentage of people killed by drunken drivers in Virginia has increased.

Looking Down On Lindsay

WHEN IT COMES to the bad (young) girls of Hollywood messing up and seeking redemption, usually for thousands of dollars at a secluded rehab clinic, there's never a dearth of stories, from singer Brandy's vehicular manslaughter charges earlier this year to Paris Hilton's jail stay.