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Archive 2003 STS&G News Goodove in the News Virginian-Pilot

PROPOSALS WOULD CLOSE DRUNKEN-DRIVING LOOPHOLES

LT. GOV. KAINE SEEKS LONGER SENTENCES, TOUGHER PENALTIES FOR REFUSING TESTS

Author: MICHELLE WASHINGTON THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT

Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine said Monday that he will push for tougher penalties against repeat drunken drivers, joining legislators and others who have called for changes in the wake of recent fatal crashes.

Kaine made the announcement on the steps of the courthouse where repeat drunken driver Roy Lee Everett was sentenced Friday to 14 years in prison for killing a high-school honor student in May.

Both of Kaine’s proposals would target third-time drunken drivers.

If they have two DUI convictions, are stopped again and refuse to take a blood or breath test, they would face one year in jail. The current penalty for refusing to be tested is a one-year driver’s license suspension. The mandatory jail sentence for third-time drunken drivers would increase from 10 days to one year.

Repeat drunken drivers know the system, Kaine said, and know what penalties they are likely to face if picked up again. Neither 10 days in jail nor the loss of a driver’s license is much deterrent, he said, and drunken drivers can sometimes avoid a third DUI conviction simply by refusing to take the test.

“Usually if you’re driving drunk you don’t mind driving on a suspended license,” Kaine said. If passed by the General Assembly, the new penalties would be “a powerful disincentive,” Kaine said.

Kaine said Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney John R. Doyle III pointed out weaknesses in the criminal system that repeat offenders exploit. Neither man mentioned Roy Lee Everett by name, but his case highlighted some of the loopholes.

Everett had surrendered his driving privileges after previous DUI convictions, so he had nothing to lose by refusing to take a blood or breath test. That refusal denied prosecutors evidence of his intoxication that might have led to a murder charge. Everett pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter and other charges.

While Everett’s case might be emblematic of problems, Kaine and Doyle said, he was not the sole impetus for the changes.

“There is a hard core of repeat offenders, people who aren’t afraid of a suspended license,” Kaine said.

Kaine said he will introduce the legislation to the General Assembly in January. If passed, it likely would take effect in July.

Lawyer Jeffrey Stredler represents the family of Landon Chambers, the 16-year-old boy killed by Roy Lee Everett. The family has long hoped something good could come of Landon’s death, he said.

“It sounds like they’re moving in the right direction toward making the roads safer for everybody,” Stredler said.

Leaders of area Mothers Against Drunk Driving chapters said the measures will close loopholes that let repeat offenders beat the system.

“It’s been a long time in coming,” said Michael Goodove, president of the Southside chapter of MADD, which includes Norfolk. “You’ve seen a shifting of penalties for DUI but no shifting for hard-core repeat offenders who know the system very well.”

Dick Jackson, president of the Peninsula chapter of MADD, said the new laws should have an effect on drunken driving in the long run.

“If we had had this a few years ago, maybe Mr. Everett wouldn’t be sitting there,” with a 14-year prison term, Jackson said.

Reach Michelle Washington at michelle.washington(AT)pilotonline.com or at 446-2287.

Caption:
Photo
GENEVIEVE ROSS/THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT
Lt. Gov. Tim Kaine, right, and Norfolk Commonwealth’s Attorney John
R. Doyle III discuss proposed changes to the DUI law Monday on the
steps of Norfolk Circuit Court.

Copyright (c) 2003 The Virginian-Pilot
Record Number: 0310140079

Categories
Archive 2003 STS&G News Goodove in the News Virginian-Pilot

JUDGE GIVES MAN 10 YEARS IN DRUNKEN-DRIVING DEATH

Virginian-Pilot, The (Norfolk, VA)

Author: JON FRANK THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT

A 50-year-old man who was driving drunk in November when he killed the father of two children was sentenced Tuesday to 10 years in prison.

Steven V. Arcese has been in custody since the Nov. 3 accident that killed 26-year-old David C. Fisher.

The accident occurred near London Bridge and Dam Neck roads, where Arcese’s Audi station wagon crashed head-on with Fisher’s Chevrolet Cavalier. Fisher’s two children were passengers in the car but were not seriously injured.

In April, Arcese pleaded guilty to second-offense driving under the influence and aggravated involuntary manslaughter. He faced up to 21 years in prison.

In court Tuesday, Arcese told Fisher’s family: “In no way, on that horrible night in November, did I intend to cause that accident. I am sorry, I am sorry, I am sorry.”

Circuit Judge Thomas S. Shadrick began to cry as he expressed sympathy to Fisher’s family shortly before issuing the sentence.

Shadrick gave Arcese the maximum 21 years but suspended all but 10.

Arcese will be on supervised probation after his release, with another 11 years in prison possible if he misbehaves during that time, Shadrick said.

Shadrick said harsher sentences likely are ahead for repeat offenders who drink and drive and hurt others. But, Shadrick said, until the law changes, he is obligated to stay close to state-mandated guidelines.

The maximum sentence recommended for Arcese by state guidelines was about 9.5 years in prison, Shadrick said.

The judge said he exceeded the guidelines a little to “make a statement, because the guidelines are a little low.”

Jim Fisher, the victim’s father, who has become an advocate for stiffer drunken-driving sentences, said he was satisfied with the time Arcese will serve in prison.

“This is a start,” Fisher said. “It is higher than the guidelines and that is all we were hoping for.”

Fisher said he hopes the decision to keep Arcese locked up without bond until sentencing will set the standard for others charged with second-offense DUI and higher.

The public outcry against drunken drivers has intensified in recent months after a rash of fatal DUI accidents.

In Norfolk recently, police say a repeat DUI offender killed a Lake Taylor High School student after a magistrate allowed him out of jail on a $1,000 bond on a previous DUI charge.

After the sentencing, Moody E. “Sonny” Stallings, one of two attorneys who represented Arcese, said he was “prepared for a little worse” because attitudes against drunken drivers are changing rapidly.

Much of the change stems from public reaction to the Arcese case and other recent fatal DUI crashes.

“The community is talking about this case,” Stallings said, especially at the Oceanfront, where Arcese is a well-known resident.

People are starting to realize when they are out drinking, they should “get a cab, call a friend or walk, because this kind of tragedy will be repeated again,” Stallings said.

Michael L. Goodove, a Norfolk lawyer and president of the local chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said he would have preferred a longer sentence for Arcese.

“I think more time would have sent a stronger message to the community,” Goodove said. “and kept an habitual offender off the roads.”

Reach Jon Frank at 222-5122 or jon.frank(AT)pilotonline.com

Caption:
Color Photo
Steven V. Arcese, 50, faced 21 years, but the judge suspended all
but 10.
Photo
David C. Fisher, 26, was killed in a drunken-driving accident Nov.
3. in Virginia Beach.

Copyright (c) 2003 The Virginian-Pilot
Record Number: 0307020146

Categories
Archive 2003 STS&G News Goodove in the News Virginian-Pilot

DRIVER INDICTED ON CHARGES IN TWO DUI ARRESTS

Virginian-Pilot, The (Norfolk, VA)

Author: MATTHEW ROY THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT

The man accused of fleeing a crash that took the life of a Norfolk high school student was indicted Wednesday on felony charges of driving under the influence and hit and run.

Roy Lee Everett, 30, of Norfolk may be indicted on more charges in the future, said Commonwealth’s Attorney John R. Doyle III. Doyle declined to give details.

Everett’s lawyer, Bobby L. Howlett Jr., could not be reached for comment.

Everett was also indicted Wednesday on separate charges of DUI and driving drunk on a revoked license. Those charges stemmed from an April 14 arrest by an off-duty Norfolk police officer.

Officer W.E. Whiteside has testified he saw Everett driving recklessly, followed him and arrested him for DUI. Hours later, records show, Everett was freed on $1,000 bond. At the time, he had three prior DUI convictions in Virginia Beach.

On May 6, police say, Everett was at the wheel of a Dodge pickup that collided with a two-door Honda at North Military Highway and Azalea Garden Road. The crash killed 16-year-old Landon W. Chambers, a passenger in the car, and injured his brother, Barney.

Witnesses said Everett crawled from the pickup, which had turned onto its side, and fled on foot. Bystanders stopped him and held him for police, witnesses said.

He has been in custody since then and was being held without bond Wednesday, a spokesman for the City Jail said.

The charges in Wednesday’s indictment carry potential five-year prison terms, except for the hit-and-run charge. That count carries up to 10 years behind bars, said Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney James F. Entas.

Michael Goodove, an attorney who is president of the Southside Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, speculated that prosecutors may have indicted Everett on DUI in order to hold him while they investigate the case further.

Everett also faces criminal charges in Virginia Beach, where, authorities allege, he posed as his brother when he was charged in yet another DUI case last October. He faces counts of DUI, forgery of a public document, identity fraud and a license-related charge.

Caption:
Photo
Roy L. Everett was indicted Wednesday on multiple charges from two
incidents, including one that killed a 16-year-old.

Copyright (c) 2003 The Virginian-Pilot
Record Number: 0306190069

Categories
Archive 2003 STS&G News Goodove in the News Virginian-Pilot

MORE CHARGES AGAINST DUI SUSPECT PROSECUTORS SAY HE CLAIMED HE WAS HIS BROTHER TO AVOID TROUBLES

Author: JON FRANK THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT

The man accused of driving drunk and killing a Lake Taylor High School honor student in a crash this month now faces new charges that he posed as his brother during a traffic stop last year to avoid prosecution.

Roy Lee Everett, 30, was charged Wednesday with forging a public document, identity theft and fourth-offense driving under the influence. Police served the warrants at the Norfolk City Jail, where Everett is being held without bond.

Virginia Beach police said Everett posed as his brother during a DUI stop in October – seven months before the collision in Norfolk that killed 16-year-old Landon W. Chambers.

Everett is scheduled to be arraigned on the new felony charges and two related misdemeanor traffic offenses on May 30 in Virginia Beach General District Court.

On May 6, he was at the wheel of a pickup truck that ran a red light on Azalea Garden Road and headed into the path of a Honda Civic on North Military Highway in Norfolk, police said. The impact flipped the pickup on its side and crumpled the Honda.

Landon Chambers, a passenger in the Honda, died hours later. The driver was his brother, Barney, who was injured and is recovering.

Police and witnesses said Everett crawled out of the pickup’s rear window and ran. Citizens cornered and detained him nearby. He has been charged with DUI and two counts of leaving the scene of an accident, all felonies, as well as running a red light and eight other traffic offenses.

If Everett had been convicted in the October case, he likely would have been in jail serving a 12-month sentence – not on the road earlier this month.

Instead, police said Thursday, he posed as his brother, Billy Wilson Everett, when a Beach police officer stopped him on Oct. 16 at South Independence Boulevard and Dahlia Drive.

Court records show that the driver then was in a 1997 Dodge van.

It is not apparent from records why the man was stopped.

But Officer D.C. Meeks charged the driver, “Billy Everett,” with DUI.

The driver had a blood-alcohol level of 0.13, court records show. Virginia’s legal limit is 0.08.

The man was freed on $1,200 bond.

The charges were withdrawn when Billy Everett showed up Dec. 3 in Virginia Beach General District Court and Meeks realized that he was not the driver he had arrested.

Ray Eisenberg, a Virginia Beach police captain, said Meeks recognized Roy Everett as the actual driver when his photo appeared in The Virginian-Pilot after this month’s fatal accident in Norfolk. That led to the reinstatement of the DUI charge and to the two new felonies.

Mike Goodove, president of the Southside Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, praised the police for sticking with the case.

“We applaud the police department and the prosecutors for following up on these charges to make sure that justice is pursued,” Goodove said.

He has been critical of the way Everett’s prior offenses – including three DUI convictions in Virginia Beach – were handled, allowing him to find a way to continue driving.

But on Thursday, Goodove said Virginia Beach traditionally has done a “terrific” job on DUI prosecutions and that he did not know if any procedures were skipped during last fall’s investigation.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Harvey L. Bryant III said Thursday he believes proper procedure was followed by the police officer and in court when the charges were removed in December.

This is not the first time Roy Everett has been accused of passing himself off as his brother.

Norfolk court records show that he did so after he was stopped last year for speeding on North Military Highway.

At 3:55 a.m. on April 21, 2002, Norfolk police Officer R.C. Cook wrote two tickets to a man driving a 1994 Mercedes. The man identified himself as Billy W. Everett.

Cook charged him with driving 67 mph in a 45-mph zone and for driving without a license.

“He had memorized all his brother’s information,” said Norfolk police spokesman Chris Amos. “He had no ID.”

Cook was suspicious, Amos said, and had the man roll his thumb in ink and mark the summonses with his thumbprint.

Roy Everett later contacted the commonweath’s attorney’s office and admitted what he had done, Amos said.

The charges against Billy Everett were withdrawn. Cook wrote new summonses charging Roy Everett with speeding and driving with a suspended or revoked license, court records show. Cook also charged Roy Everett with assuming a false name.

He was convicted of the charges and was fined $125, plus court costs, records show. He also received a 60-day suspended sentence, according to online court records.

Though lacking a valid license, Roy Everett continued to drive, authorities said.

Only weeks before the accident that took the life of Landon Chambers, Everett was arrested and charged with DUI in Norfolk. But Magistrate J.D. Bullock Jr. set his bail at $1,000, and Everett was freed within hours. That case is pending.

Bobby L. Howlett Jr., Everett’s attorney, did not return telephone calls.

Attempts to reach Billy Everett have been unsuccessful.

Reach Jon Frank at jfrank(AT)pilotonline.com or 446-2277

Copyright (c) 2003 The Virginian-Pilot
Record Number: 0305230125

Categories
Archive 2003 STS&G News Goodove in the News Virginian-Pilot

DRIVER FACED DUI CHARGE THREE WEEKS BEFORE CRASH

Author: MATTHEW ROY AND JON FRANK THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT

A man facing his seventh drunken-driving charge after the crash Tuesday that killed a high school student was charged with driving drunk three weeks ago, but regained his freedom within hours by posting a $1,000 bond.

Roy Lee Everett, 30, was charged Tuesday with running a red light, driving under the influence and 10 other violations in the crash that killed 16-year-old Landon Chambers and injured his brother, Barney.

Everett is being held without bail in the Norfolk City Jail.

Everett has been behind bars before. He has three previous DUI convictions in Virginia Beach. And he was arrested for drunken driving most recently on April 14.

That’s when, court records say, Norfolk Officer W.E. Whiteside stopped him for driving recklessly at the wheel of a Jaguar.

Whiteside smelled alcohol.

“I asked if he had been drinking and he stated yes, 4 Mike’s Lemonades in an hour,” Whiteside wrote in papers filed in Norfolk General District Court.

A Department of Motor Vehicles records check showed Everett’s three prior convictions for DUI, Whiteside noted, as well as three previous convictions for driving on a suspended license.

In addition to the third-offense DUI, Whiteside charged Everett with driving after his driving privileges had been suspended.

Magistrate J.D. Bullock Jr. set Everett’s bond at $1,000 at 3:16 a.m. on April 14, according to court records. Everett posted bail through a bonding company at 4:57 a.m. and was freed.

Michael Goodove, an attorney and president of the Southside Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said anyone charged with a third-offense DUI, a felony, should not be allowed to post a bond and be freed from custody.

“Our position is the criminal justice system’s paramount responsibility is to protect lives,” he said. “Research has shown that your hardcore, repetitive drunk-driving offenders are the folks most

likely to injure or kill somebody.”

Three weeks after his release, police contend, Everett drove a pickup through a red light at North Military Highway and Azalea Garden Road into the path of the Chambers brothers, who were traveling in a Honda Civic. The impact crumpled their car and flipped the pickup on its side. Witnesses said Everett climbed from the pickup’s rear window and ran. Citizens cornered him behind a carpet store until police arrived to arrest him.

Bullock could not be reached for comment.

Chief Magistrate Beth B. Pennington said she spoke with him briefly about the bond and intends to meet with him in the coming week.

“At this point, I have to trust the magistrate’s judgment,” she said. “He’s been a magistrate for a while.”

By setting bonds, magistrates try to ensure that defendants show up in court, she said, noting they don’t determine guilt or innocence. She said they consider the length of time a defendant has lived in the area, family ties, any prior record and their likelihood to appear in court.

“No matter how high it’s set, a person can still bond out,” Pennington said.

This week’s DUI charge is the latest in a long list of serious driving infractions for Everett, stretching back to at least 1994.

During the past eight years, Everett has been convicted multiple times for a variety of charges, including reckless driving and speeding.

Everett’s three DUI convictions in Virginia Beach started with a charge in 1994. Five years later, in May 1999, Everett was charged with DUI, second offense.

In December 1999, he was charged again with DUI, second offense.

That last charge resulted in Everett getting the maximum jail penalty for second-offense-DUI – 12 months in jail, according Judge Albert D. Alberi, who sentenced Everett in Virginia Beach General District Court.

But Alberi suspended 11 months of the time and allowed Everett to serve the resulting monthlong sentence on weekends in the Virginia Beach City Jail.

It was not clear on Friday why Everett was not charged that December with DUI, third offense.

DUI, third offense, became a felony when state law was changed by the General Assembly in July 1999. It carries a maximum prison sentence of five years and can be lodged against any drunken driver who has two prior DUI convictions within the past 10 years.

Mark T. Del Duca, a Virginia Beach lawyer and former Beach prosecutor, explained Friday that Everett’s December DUI charge in 1999 may have occurred before his May 1999 offense had made its way through the court system.

If that were the case, it may have been impossible for Everett to be charged with DUI, third offense, in December 1999, Del Duca said.

Everett also was charged with second-offense DUI in Norfolk in January 1998, but the count was dismissed, online court records say.

Another DUI charge, in Emporia in August 1997, was dismissed, according to online court records.

Reach Matthew Roy at mroy(AT)pilotonline.com or 446-2540.

Copyright (c) 2003 The Virginian-Pilot
Record Number: 0305100125

Categories
Archive 2003 STS&G News Goodove in the News Virginian-Pilot

CONFUSION WITH SIBLING’S IDENTITY TWISTS DUI CASE

ROY LEE EVERETT MAY HAVE POSED AS HIS BROTHER DURING A DRUNKEN-DRIVING ARREST IN VIRGINIA BEACH LATE LAST YEAR

Author: MATTHEW ROY AND BILL BURKE THE

Roy Lee Everett, who was charged with driving under the influence in last week’s crash that killed a teen in Norfolk, may have posed as his brother during a drunken-driving arrest in Virginia Beach late last year, possibly avoiding a mandatory one-year jail term.

Police are investigating whether Everett, who has three DUI convictions in Virginia Beach, falsely gave police his brother’s name during an Oct. 16 traffic stop at South Independence Boulevard and Dahlia Drive.

If Everett had been convicted of the October DUI, he likely would not have been driving a pickup truck that collided on May 6 with a Honda Civic, fatally injuring 16-year-old Landon W. Chambers. As a four-time DUI offender, Everett would have faced a year behind bars with no time suspended.

The driver in the October case, who identified himself as Billy Wilson Everett, had a blood-alcohol level of 0.13, court records show. Virginia’s legal limit is 0.08.

When the real Billy Everett went to court following the October DUI stop, the arresting officer said he was not the man he had ticketed and the charges were withdrawn.

The driver may in fact have been Roy Lee Everett, who impersonated his brother last year when he was stopped for speeding in Norfolk, according to court records and police.

A Virginia Beach police captain says the officer who arrested “Billy W. Everett” for DUI recognized Roy Everett as the actual driver when his photo appeared in the newspaper last week.

An expert handwriting analyst also says it is “highly probable” that Roy Everett signed Billy’s name to court documents after the arrest, based on an examination of those documents and known signatures of the brothers.

Michael Goodove, an attorney who is president of the Southside Chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, called the revelation that Roy Everett may have dodged a fourth DUI offense “amazing.”

“It just blows my mind,” he said. “In an information age with computer records as accessible as they are, it is shocking to us this person was not dealt with more appropriately.”

He said Virginia’s penalty for a fourth DUI offense could have saved an innocent victim.

Roy Lee Everett’s attorney, Bobby L. Howlett Jr., did not return phone calls seeking comment.

Court records show the driver in the October Virginia Beach DUI case was operating a 1997 Dodge van that night. It is not apparent from records why the man was stopped. Officer D.C. Meeks charged the driver, “Billy Everett,” with DUI and he was freed on $1,200 bond.

Billy Everett didn’t appear for the initial Nov. 6 court date, records show, and a judge issued an order for him to appear. He turned himself in. At the time, he told a magistrate that he was never given that ticket, court records say.

When Billy Everett’s case was called in General District Court on Dec. 3, Meeks was there. The charges were withdrawn. A two-word explanation appears in the court record: “Wrong person.”

Attempts to get comment from Billy Everett were unsuccessful.

Now, Virginia Beach police are investigating if Roy Everett posed as his brother.

Last week, after the collision in which Chambers died received extensive media coverage, Meeks saw Everett’s photograph in the newspaper, said Beach police Capt. Ray Eisenberg.

“He realized this was the guy he originally arrested in October,” Eisenberg said.

Roy Everett has not been charged in the case, but the matter is under investigation and will be taken to the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, Eisenberg said.

If Roy Everett is charged with posing as his brother, it won’t be the first time. Court records show that Roy Everett passed himself off as Billy Everett after he was stopped for speeding on North Military Highway in Norfolk earlier last year.

At 3:55 a.m. on April 21, Norfolk police Officer R.C. Cook wrote two tickets to a man driving a 1994 Mercedes. The man identified himself as Billy W. Everett. Cook charged him with driving 67 mph in a 45 mph zone and driving without a license.

“He had memorized all his brother’s information,” said Norfolk police spokesman Chris Amos. “He had no ID.”

Cook was suspicious, Amos said, and had the man roll his thumb in ink and mark the summonses with his thumbprint.

Roy Everett later contacted the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and admitted what he had done, Amos said.

The charges against Billy Everett were withdrawn. Cook wrote new summonses charging Roy Everett with speeding and driving while license is suspended or revoked, court records show. Cook also charged Roy Everett with assuming a false name – Billy Everett’s.

Roy Everett was convicted of the charges and was fined a total of $125, plus court costs, court records show. He also received a 60-day suspended sentence, according to online court records.

Though lacking a valid license, Roy Everett continued to drive, authorities contend. He was arrested April 14 in Norfolk and was charged with DUI. Magistrate J.D. Bullock Jr. set his bail at $1,000 and he was freed within hours. That case is pending in court.

On May 6, authorities charge, Everett was at the wheel of a pickup truck that ran a red light on Azalea Garden Road and headed into the path of a Honda Civic on North Military Highway in Norfolk. The impact flipped the pickup on its side and crumpled the Honda, injuring the Chambers brothers. Landon Chambers died hours later.

Police and witnesses say Everett crawled out of the pickup’s rear window and ran. Citizens cornered and detained him nearby. He has been charged with DUI and two counts of leaving the scene of an accident, all felonies, as well as running a red light and eight other traffic offenses.

His bond on the April 14 DUI has been revoked, and he is being held without bond on the new charges.

When Virginia Beach Officer Meeks pulled the Dodge van over last Oct. 16, there’s a strong likelihood Roy Everett was driving, according to Lawrence W. Farmer.

Farmer, a Virginia Beach document examiner who once headed Norfolk’s Secret Service office, has been analyzing handwriting in criminal and civil cases for nearly 50 years. He has provided expert analysis in several notable cases, including a Portsmouth mayor suspected of authoring hate mail and a Virginia Beach high school basketball coach who scrawled racist graffiti at the school.

The Virginian-Pilot hired Farmer to analyze the signatures.

Farmer’s conclusion in the Everett case is based on comparisons he made of undisputed signatures of both Everett brothers with two “Billy Everett” signatures that appear on a bail bond form in Virginia Beach. That form was signed by the person arrested on the October DUI charge.

Farmer, who has testified in hundreds of court cases since 1954, said certain distinctive features of the questionable signatures match features of Roy Everett’s known signatures.

In both cases, the author “writes the letters close together, with little or no connecting space between letters,” Farmer said.

Also, the letter “y” in the names Billy and Roy are strikingly similar, he said. “The `cup’ of the `y’ in both cases is deep, with the downstroke and upstroke very close together,” he said. “The last stroke of the y in both cases is headed to the first `E’ in Everett.”

He also noted that the capital “E” in Everett loops across the following “v” in both signatures.

One of the most distinctive similarities, he said, is the way the second “e” and following “r” in Everett are written in a way that appears to form the letter “o,” a feature Farmer said he had never seen before in thousands of handwriting samples.

Farmer said he assigns a value to each distinctive feature. He said that based on his analysis, “I would be willing to testify in court that it is highly probable the same person who signed the name Roy Everett also signed Billy’s name.”

Reach Matthew Roy at mroy(AT)pilotonline.com or 446-2540.

Reach Bill Burke at bill.burke(AT)pilotonline.com or 446-2589.

Caption:
Color photo
THE DEFENDANT: Roy Lee Everett was charged with driving under the
influence in a crash that fatally injured 16-year-old Landon W.
Chambers on May 6. Above, Everett is shown in court on May 13.
THE SIGNATURES: Lawrence W. Farmer, a Virginia Beach document
examiner and expert handwriting analyst, says it is “highly
probable” that Roy Everett signed Billy’s name to court documents
after the arrest, based on an examination of those documents and
known signatures of the brothers, shown above.
Photo
Landon W. Chambers, 16, died as a result of a traffic accident in
which he and his brother were struck by a pickup truck on Military
Highway.

Copyright (c) 2003 The Virginian-Pilot
Record Number: 0305160085

Categories
Archive 2003 STS&G News Goodove in the News Virginian-Pilot

VICTIM’S FAMILY FILES THREE LAWSUITS AGAINST MOTORIST IN FATAL CAR ACCIDENT

Author: JON FRANK THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT

Three lawsuits have been filed in Virginia Beach Circuit Court against a motorist who is accused of being drunk when he ran a red light and killed a 26-year-old father of two in November.

Steven C. Arcese, 50, had more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in his blood on Nov. 3, according to recent court testimony in the criminal case against Arcese. His Audi station wagon crashed head-on into a 1991 Chevrolet Cavalier driven by David C. Fisher.

Fisher died early the following morning from his injuries. His children, ages 3 and 6 months, suffered superficial injuries and have recovered.

Fisher was on the way to pick up his wife from her job at Wal-Mart in the couple’s only car when the accident occurred about 11:30 p.m. at the intersection of London Bridge and Dam Neck roads.

Arcese had a blood-alcohol level of 0.23 hours after the accident, police said. The legal limit in Virginia is 0.08.

The lawsuits were filed on behalf of Fisher’s wife, Mandi Rose Fisher, and the children.

One of the lawsuits was filed in February. The other two were filed Monday.

The lawsuits allege that Arcese was drunk and speeding, failed to keep a proper outlook, failed to keep his vehicle under proper control and did not obey traffic signals.

Each of the lawsuits asks for compensatory damages of $5 million and punitive damages of $5 million.

Michael L. Goodove, the attorney who filed the suits, said the children were traumatized by the accident.

Arcese is being held without bond in the Virginia Beach city jail. He is scheduled to stand trial April 23 on charges of aggravated involuntary manslaughter, driving under the influence and refusal to take a blood-alcohol test.

The maximum penalty for aggravated involuntary manslaughter is 20 years.

Reach Jon Frank at 446-2277 or jfrank(AT)pilotonline.com

Caption:
Lawsuits filed by the family of David C. Fisher, who
died after a car ran into his, seek a total of $30 million in
punitive and compensatory damages.

Copyright (c) 2003 The Virginian-Pilot
Record Number: 0304130093

Categories
Archive 2003 STS&G News Goodove in the News Virginian-Pilot

DRIVER IN CRASH FIGHTS OFFICIALS ON HOW BLOOD WAS OBTAINED

Virginian-Pilot, The (Norfolk, VA)

Author: JON FRANK THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT

The man charged in a November collision that claimed the life of a father of two young children will either plead guilty or face trial with evidence that he had more than twice the legal limit of alcohol in his blood that night.

Circuit Judge Thomas S. Shadrick denied a motion Wednesday to throw out evidence that 50-year-old Steven V. Arcese had a blood-alcohol level of 0.23 hours after the Nov. 3 accident.

The legal limit for driving in Virginia is 0.08.

Police said that Arcese, driving a 2002 Audi station wagon, ran a red light at the intersection of London Bridge Road and Dam Neck Road, and collided with a vehicle driven by David Fisher, 26, of Virginia Beach.

Fisher was killed. His children, 3-year-old James and 6-month-old Amber, were in child-restraint seats in the back of their 1991 Chevrolet Cavalier station wagon and were not injured.

Arcese is charged with aggravated involuntary manslaughter, driving under the influence and refusal to take a blood-alcohol test. He could be sentenced to up to 20 years in prison if convicted during a trial scheduled for April 23.

On Wednesday, Arcese’s lawyers, Moody E. “Sonny” Stallings and Mark T. Del Duca, argued that Arcese’s constitutional guarantee against unreasonable search and seizure was violated when police obtained Arcese’s blood test results from Sentara Virginia Beach General Hospital, where he was taken for treatment.

After the accident, Arcese refused a breath test, Stallings said. Arcese also told police twice he would not allow them to draw blood to determine his blood-alcohol level.

At that point, Stallings said, police needed a search warrant before taking Arcese’s blood.

Instead, Stallings said, police “came in the back door” to obtain Arcese’s blood test results by subpoena from the hospital.

Arcese, who is being held without bond in the Virginia Beach City Jail pending trial, testified Wednesday that he had been drinking before the accident.

“I had a beer, a little bit of wine with dinner and a glass of wine after dinner,” Arcese said.

A nurse testified that she took Arcese’s blood as part of the hospital’s routine procedure prior to treatment.

“I told him I was not drawing blood for the police,” said Heather L. Mcinyk, an emergency room nurse at the hospital.

Mcinyk testified that she told Arcese that “if the police wanted his results, they would have to subpoena his results.”

That’s what police did, testified Beach Officer Gary Kerfoot.

Kerfoot said he was trying to get the blood because “I was going to use it for prosecution.”

Although Stallings maintained that the police action was illegal, he acknowledged that state law allows authorities to obtain blood-alcohol test results from suspects during the regular course of providing emergency medical treatment.

Mike Goodove, president of the local chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said after the hearing that the law streamlines the prosecution of people who are involved in drunken-driving accidents but refuse to take breath tests. MADD supported its passage, he said.

After the hearing, Stallings said he raised the constitutional issue, in part, to preserve it for appeal after trial. He said Arcese may plead guilty to avoid a jury trial, but could appeal the conviction if he does so.

Reach Jon Frank at 446-2277 or jfrank(AT)pilotonline.com

Copyright (c) 2003 The Virginian-Pilot
Record Number: 0304030099

Categories
Archive 2003 STS&G News Goodove in the News Virginian-Pilot

BEACH NIGHTCLUB SUED OVER WRECK THAT KILLED 4 SUIT : PEABODY’S RESPONSIBLE FOR DRUNKEN DRIVER

Virginian-Pilot, The (Norfolk, VA)

Author: JON FRANK THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT

Three lawsuits stemming from a deadly highway collision in 2001 were filed Thursday against Peabody’s, a popular Oceanfront nightclub where the driver responsible for the wreck had been drinking.

Enrique Lopez, a 21-year-old sailor serving aboard the carrier George Washington, was driving his Ford Mustang the wrong way on Interstate 264 on May 11, 2001, when he slammed into another vehicle that was traveling in the opposite direction.

Three women in the other car – including 19-year-old Debra Van Sickle, an expectant mother – were killed. Lopez also died.

The lawsuits seek a total of $36.05 million in damages and attempt to hold Peabody’s responsible for contributing to the accident.

Andrew M. Sacks, the Norfolk lawyer who filed the lawsuits in Virginia Beach Circuit Court, said during a news conference Thursday that Peabody’s employees threw Lopez out of the club because he was extremely drunk and had become disorderly.

The lawsuits maintain that once employees “took control” of Lopez, Sacks said, they should have turned him over to authorities.

“The crux of this is that once they observed him, they took immediate steps,” Sacks said. “But they failed to complete that duty.”

Sacks said the club took the attitude that “as long as he is not a problem to us, we don’t care what he does.”

Virginia is one of the few states without “Dram Shop” legislation, which holds bars and restaurants responsible for serving alcohol to customers who then commit crimes or cause accidents. The absence of such legislation shields many businesses in Virginia’s tourism and restaurant industries from lawsuits.

Michael L. Goodove, a Norfolk lawyer who is president of the local chapter of Mothers Against Drunk Driving, said at Thursday’s news conference that the lobby representing the state’s restaurants and bars has successfully fought to keep “dram shop” legislation from getting out of committees in Richmond.

He said 44 states have such laws and that Sacks’ suits address the vacuum by creating for bars an area of “special responsibility that is a long time in coming.”

The lawsuits do not allege that Peabody’s was negligent in serving Lopez, Sacks said. Instead, they argue that Peabody’s failed to protect the public from “carnage” caused by someone the club took control of and then released “into the stream of humanity.”

Lopez had a blood-alcohol level of 0.27 at the time of the accident, well above Virginia’s legal limit of 0.08, according to police. He also is named in the lawsuits as a defendant.

Richard H. Doummar, the Virginia Beach lawyer who represents the nightclub, said Thursday that although the situation was tragic, “Peabody’s did everything they could as required by the law to do the right thing.”

Peabody’s is at 21st Street and Pacific Avenue. Doummar said the nightclub already has been cleared by the Virginia Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control.

“It is just a tough situation dealing with someone who is intoxicated,” Doummar said.

Two of the lawsuits were filed on behalf of 24-year-old Earl A. Sanders IV.

Sanders’ mother, Shirley J. Vinson, 44, was killed in the accident, as was his fiancee, 30-year-old Beverley S. Carter.

A suit in Vinson’s name asks for $15.35 million. The one for Carter asks for $5.35 million.

The third suit, which also asks for $15.35 million, was filed on behalf of Henry Sanders, who was injured in the crash. Sanders now lives in Fort Worth, Texas, and still suffers from his injuries, Sacks said.

Van Sickle’s survivors are represented by Virginia Beach attorney William R. “Buster” O’Brien, who said he filed a suit against Lopez last year. He did not name Peabody’s as a defendant.

Van Sickle was on the way to the hospital at the time of the accident to possibly deliver her baby.

Reach Jon Frank at jfrank(AT)pilotonline.com or 446-2277.

Caption:
Color Photo
Earl A. Sanders IV, foreground, fields reporters’ questions as his
attorney, Andrew Sacks, listens in the lawyer’s Norfolk office
during a news conference Thursday. Photos
MORT FRYMAN/THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT FILE PHOTO
Debra Van Sickle, Shirley J. Vinson and Beverley S. Carter were
killed when the car they were riding in, above, was struck by a
Mustang driven by Enrique Lopez in May 2001. Lopez also died.
Enrique Lopez, a sailor serving on the carrier George Washington,
was killed in May 2001.

Copyright (c) 2003 The Virginian-Pilot
Record Number: 0303070101

Categories
Archive 2003 STS&G News Goodove in the News Virginian-Pilot

LETTERS TO THE EDITOR – THE VIRGINIAN-PILOT

Virginian-Pilot, The (Norfolk, VA)

In DUI cases, MADD is

there when you need it

The Jan. 20 letter, “System is watering down drunken-driving cases,” asks: “Where is MADD on this issue?”

When I was interviewed for TV about the drunken driver who killed my daughter, the man whose latest DUI conviction was treated as a first offense, I mentioned MADD to both TV stations. The focus of what happened in his case was poor record-keeping by law enforcers.

It’s important for people to know that MADD was walking beside me all the way. Marilyn Jackson, the MADD advocate on the Peninsula, was extremely helpful in getting me information from the deputy commonwealth’s attorney. Mike Goodove, president of Southside MADD, told me where and how to begin to pursue my “find.” He was also in court with us during Shawn Teehan’s trial on Jan. 6, and he was with us when Teehan was sentenced in September 1997.

It’s important to me for the public to know that MADD is there when you need it. The members quietly stay with you and lend support in ways people wouldn’t understand unless they personally experienced a death by a drunken driver. I owe Marilyn and Mike. The only way I know to repay them is to get involved when the next victim of a drunken driver needs support, and I plan to do just that.

Linda Kaye Walsh

Virginia Beach

More liberal (tax) lies

and misconceptions

I was not surprised to read the Jan. 18 letters from Michael McGowan and Terry Flynn arguing against the tax cuts. Their arguments are the same mantra always used by the liberal left.

First, Mr. McGowan expects those who have wealth to be their “brother’s keeper.” He states that the tax system is not meant to be fair; it is meant to be just.

How can something be both unfair and just? If the rich are supposed to pay their “fair share,” then why does he want them to pay a higher percentage of the taxes than he does? Where in the Constitution is there a provision for seizing money from one group of people to pay the burdens of another?

As to Mr. Flynn’s argument that the tax cut is exploding the deficit and taking from Social Security: Stop government spending. The Bush administration came up with several ways to cut the budget, but the Democrats opposed them.

His comment about the Republicans causing class warfare is pure liberal dogma. Bush is simply allowing people to keep more of the money they’ve earned. The last Democrat to understand this was John Kennedy. The Democrats could use another leader like him.

Kayla Midgette

Chesapeake

Vive le Rumsfeld

Three cheers to Don Rumsfeld for his blunt remarks about France and Germany (front page, Jan. 24). I am tired of the constant carping by those living off distant memories of faded glory.

Someone needs to send the French a history book to remind them that they’ve been essentially irrelevant on the world stage since 1815.

Jerry Post

Virginia Beach

Clarence Thomas accusers

now champion Judge Askew

Gosh, you just gotta love the deja vu surrounding the case of Judge Askew. Sen. Louise Lucas calls this a “lynching.” Hmmmm, now where have I heard or read those words before? Oh yeah, in a case that involved another black judge as well. Yes, none other than the Clarence Thomas confirmation hearings.

Funny, isn’t it? The very same types (Democrats) who accused Thomas of similar (actually, worse) behavior are now the ones defending Judge Askew. I marvel at their hypocrisy.

Thomas was pronounced the epitome of evil because he mentioned the name of a (male) porno actor to Saint Anita Hill. But in Judge Askew’s case, we have a cash settlement involved, paid to Judge Askew’s accuser. Now why would a settlement be made if there wasn’t merit to the charges? It just doesn’t add up. Ask Vance Wilkins about that.

Sexual harrassment is supposed to be against the law. Are these laws intended only for heterosexuals? Are they intended only for those in this land who are not black? No, they are supposed to apply to everybody, judges included.

So let’s stop the nonsense that she’s being persecuted because of her race and/or preferences.

Doug Pauly

Chesapeake

Not a political decision

How can state Sen. Louise Lucas complain that “Trent Lott disease has crossed the Potomac” while organizations like the United Negro College Fund and Miss Black America exist?

The removal of Newport News Circuit Judge Verbena Askew (front page, Jan. 23) was based on performance, not politics. If Lucas thinks it was politics, maybe more blacks should become Republicans to help with the balance of power.

I would hate to think that all of America has become a one-way street.

George J. McCullough

Virginia Beach

Yo! Studying hip-hop

is relevant, not hogwash

Re Michelle Malkin’s column “Hip-hop hogwash in the schools” (op-ed, Jan. 17):

Hip-hop is a form of art/talent, so to refer it to as “hogwash” is a mockery of the fine arts we enjoy today. Ms. Malkin may have immersed herself in the creative genius of Shakespeare, Melville and Hawthorne, but plenty of people cannot because of their skin color. Who should their heroes be?

The new generation is pushing envelopes. If Fat Albert can talk about AIDS, racism and drug use, then, yes, he’s an equal to Prince Hamlet. Today’s issues are the equal of yesterday’s philosophies.

If the late Tupac and Biggie Smalls or any other hip-hop/rap artist did a song about the Middle Passage, how many teachers are going to understand? They don’t expose that much African-American history in their American history classes.

Trying to work out issues is positive. If it’s in the street tongue, does that make it wrong? When you break down the lyrics, you can find the meaning behind it. That’s realism, not a false art of “feelin’ it” and “keepin’ it real.”

Thaddeus T. Wright

Virginia Beach

Copyright (c) 2003 The Virginian-Pilot
Record Number: 0301280304