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Posted April 21, 2001 | Copyright © The Northern Virginia Daily
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City delays plans to raze house on Piccadilly

By Kevin Killen -- Daily Staff Writer

Plans to raze a house on Piccadilly Street where Winchester Police Sgt. Ricky L. Timbrook was fatally shot have been delayed indefinitely.

The city of Winchester has been waiting to tear down the property at 301 E. Piccadilly St. since before convicted killer Edward N. Bell's murder trial, according to City Manager Edwin C. Daley. At that time, defense attorney Jud A. Fischel requested that the city delay demolition of the buildings on the property, according to an April 19 letter from Daley.

However, now Commonwealth's Attorney Paul H. Thomson is blocking the demolition.

Thomson drafted a letter to Daley on Friday, giving the city manager several reasons why he wants to delay razing the building.

"The decision to tear the building down must be made with the following caveats in mind," Thomson's letter says. "First, there is always the possibility of a retrial; second, the first trial involved a viewing of the scene by the jury which I believe greatly aided the jurors in their deliberations. Third, if the building is torn down, I advised Capt. David Sobonya [of the Winchester police department] to have accurate measurements taken so the general crime scene can be reasonably reconstructed should a retrial ever happen and a viewing take place. Fourth, I fully understand the need for the city to move along on the street project on Piccadilly; however, the decision of whether to tear down the building where Sgt. Timbrook was killed is not one I can make."

Thomson's letter comes one day after Daley sent a letter to him and Fischel, telling the attorneys that they needed to inform him before May 1 if they wanted to hold off on the demolition.

Daley said he will not likely get a response until next week from Fischel, who is currently on vacation.

"We figured since the Bell trial is over that we can go ahead and do this," Daley said.

The city wants to demolish the property so it can begin construction on Timbrook Park, dedicated in honor of the officer, who was killed by Edward N. Bell, Daley said Friday.

The city purchased the property in December 1999, said Daley. The city purchased the property for $205,000, according to court records.

The park on East Lane will be built directly behind two houses at 301 and 303 E. Piccadilly St., where Timbrook was fatally shot during a foot chase between the houses on Oct. 29, 1999. It will be directly across from the Timbrook Public Safety Building, which is under construction.

Daley said the properties are empty, and the city will "just have to wait" to see when it can demolish the property.

Bell, 36, was found guilty on Jan. 25 of capital murder and faces the death penalty.

Bell also was sentenced to 48 years in prison and a $500,000 fine for convictions on charges of possessing cocaine with intent to distribute, using a firearm in the commission of a murder and possessing a firearm while possessing cocaine.

Bell will be sentenced May 31 by Winchester Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp, who presided over the trial.

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