* Breaking News
If local news is breaking and you know about it:
* Call Us: 800-296-5137
* E-mail Us
* Upload Your Photos
Amendment says attorney pressured sister of alleged drug supplier
By J.R. Williamsfirstname.lastname@example.org
HARRISONBURG -- Paul H. Thomson told a potential witness in the federal case against him that prosecutors would indict her if she cooperated with their investigation, the U.S. attorney's office said in a court filing Tuesday.
In an amended motion to revoke Thomson's bond, prosecutors say the embattled local attorney wanted to know what Lemuel Roberts -- a former legal client and alleged onetime cocaine source -- told authorities, and intimidated others to get that information.
Thomson, 56, of Winchester, is charged with evidence and witness tampering, conspiracy and possession of cocaine. A hearing on the motion to revoke bond is scheduled today at 11 a.m.
Authorities say Thomson, a former chief Winchester prosecutor, told Roberts' sister, Charita, that he would withhold legal services from her if she didn't find out what her brother told prosecutors.
Charita Roberts had approached investigators "and explained that she had in her possession evidence of crimes committed by Paul Thomson," according to the motion, but has since refused to cooperate with the government.
Prosecutors filed a text message transcript, reportedly from Charita Roberts to authorities, to support their claims.
"I'm kinda stuck between a rock and a hard place because before all this drama took place with Paul I retained him to have my record expunged," Charita Roberts said, according to the transcript. "Since Lem[uel Roberts] has talked to yall he won't talk to me at all unless I find out what lem has told yall."
The government also has said Thomson deleted "hundreds of text messages" from Lemuel Roberts' cell phone after Roberts turned himself in to authorities on unrelated charges. Thomson represented Lemuel Roberts in Frederick County Circuit Court until he withdrew as counsel on March 9.
Thomson's assistant, Nanette Susan Boden, 36, of Winchester, told prosecutors that Thomson was receiving cocaine from Lemuel Roberts and another man.
Boden pleaded guilty earlier this month to distribution of cocaine and conspiracy to tamper with evidence in a federal investigation.
"Thomson took Roberts' cell phone and deleted over 200 text messages from Roberts' cell phone to conceal his drug relationship with Roberts, according to Boden," court documents say. "Boden informed the government that Thomson personally explained these facts to her."
The U.S. attorney's office claims communicating with Lemuel Roberts, among other alleged acts, is a violation of conditions of his release.