Courts & Legal News

Driver sentenced for hitting bicyclist

A Strasburg man pleaded guilty Wednesday to striking a bicyclist while driving under the influence in 2016. Ernest Linwood Tharpe III appeared in Shenandoah County Circuit Court where he entered an Alford plea of guilt to the charge of driving while intoxicated and maiming another individual. ...

Defendants in heroin ring enter guilty pleas

Defendants charged with participating in a heroin ring based in Front Royal and Baltimore pleaded guilty in federal court on Tuesday. Documents filed in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Virginia in Harrisonburg showed that Nicole Renea McNall, Sheldon Berry and Brittani ...

Judge, attorneys react to killer’s commuted sentence

Gov. Terry McAuliffe’s decision to commute the death sentence of convicted killer William Joseph Burns to life imprisonment without parole is both supported and opposed by those involved in the case. Burns, of Wardensville, West Virginia, was convicted in 2000 of the 1998 rape and murder of ...

Jury trial set in murder case

A September jury trial has been set in the case involving a Front Royal man accused in the shooting death of his stepfather in March 2017. David Glynn Hoyle Jr., 34, pleaded not guilty Wednesday to charges of first-degree murder and using a firearm in the commission of a felony. Hoyle is ...

Courthouse Notes: Shenandoah

The following information is from the Shenandoah County Circuit Court and Department of Building Inspections: Marriage licenses • Ollie Joe Lawler, 51, Woodstock and Ronna Marie Sheipe, 51, Martinsburg West Virginia • Anthony Dale George, Jr., 55, Stuart, Florida and Debra Joy Aquino, ...

Year in Review: Murder, violent offenses top crime, court issues in 2017

Murder and violent crimes against others were two of the more prominent crime issues seen in the area outside of the drug crisis. There were two murders in Front Royal and one in Warren County outside of the town limits in 2017. This year also saw the conviction of multiple murder cases from ...

Man pleads guilty to copper theft

WOODSTOCK -- A Stanley man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to three theft-related charges after stealing $3,400 worth of copper earlier this year. Phillip Samuel Hyre, 28, pleaded guilty to two counts of grand larceny and one count of conspiracy to sell stolen property as part of a plea agreement. ...

Judge denies motion to suppress evidence in murder case

FRONT ROYAL -- Circuit Judge Ronald L. Napier denied a defense motion on Wednesday to suppress evidence in the case involving a local man accused in the March shooting death of his stepfather. Defense attorneys for David Glynn Hoyle, Jr., 32, filed a motion asking the judge to prohibit ...

Gore teen pleads guilty to 2nd degree murder, sentenced to 16 years

FRONT ROYAL -- The Gore teen charged in the March stabbing death of his girlfriend pleaded guilty to second-degree murder on Tuesday. Bailey Lincoln Powell, 18, was sentenced to serve 16 years imprisonment as part of the plea agreement entered on Tuesday evening, which was just below the ...

Bench trial set in sexual battery case

WOODSTOCK -- A January bench trial was set on Friday for a local teen charged with aggravated sexual battery of a child under 13. Domingo Reynoso-Bautista, 18, is accused of molesting a 12-year-old girl in June, and was indicted on the charge in October. Through an interpreter, ...

Woodstock man pleads guilty to conspiracy to distribute cocaine

WOODSTOCK -- A local man pleaded guilty on Friday to conspiracy to distribute cocaine after he set up a drug transaction for a confidential informant. Sirreginald Benton, 41, was in contact with the informant about buying cocaine from Benton at a Woodstock residence, Commonwealth’s ...

Winchester man pleads guilty to cocaine distribution

WOODSTOCK -- A Winchester man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to cocaine distribution as an accommodation after being present during a February drug transaction. Bryan Romero, 24, was accompanying Alexander Seal on a cocaine transaction with a confidential informant during the transaction, ...

Mount Jackson man pleads guilty to escaping legal custody

WOODSTOCK -- A Mount Jackson man who was accused of holding a woman at knifepoint in September pleaded guilty on Wednesday to fleeing from law enforcement after his arrest. The domestic violence charges involving Wesley Adam Lear, 32, were dismissed in Shenandoah County Juvenile and Domestic ...

Woodstock man pleads guilty to forgery, identity theft charges

WOODSTOCK -- A local man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to multiple forgery and identity theft charges stemming from several stolen checks he cashed in August 2016. Adam McGowan, 32, forged the signature on several stolen checks, and wrote them out to himself before taking them to a bank to be ...

Judge sends Mount Jackson child abuse case to grand jury

WOODSTOCK -- Circuit Judge Kevin C. Black on Thursday certified multiple charges for consideration by a grand jury in the case of a Mount Jackson man accused of seriously injuring his 3-month-old daughter in September. The charges against Hirving Ayala, 23, were certified after a preliminary ...

Competency restoration ordered for Edinburg teen charged in stabbing

WOODSTOCK -- Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp on Wednesday ordered that competency restoration efforts begin for the Edinburg teen accused of stabbing a mother and her two daughters in May. Samual Jacob Homer, 18, was found incompetent to stand trial on Nov. 29. Hupp required Assistant Public ...

Diner robber sentenced to 11 years

WOODSTOCK -- The third of four co-conspirators in the attempted robbery of Ben’s Diner in January was sentenced on Wednesday to serve 11 years and 3 months. Raymond Lamar Washington, 28, pleaded guilty to several charges related to the offense in June, but asked to withdraw those pleas at ...

Bond denied, preliminary hearing set in child rape case

FRONT ROYAL -- A January preliminary hearing has been set in the case involving a local man accused of multiple counts of rape. Mike Edward Haymond, 57, was arrested on Nov. 30 in West Virginia and extradited on Friday to Front Royal after being wanted on four arrest warrants charging two ...

Teen granted bond in malicious bodily injury case

WOODSTOCK -- A teen accused of orchestrating a malicious assault in September was granted bond on Friday. Colby Brian Mumaw, 16, of Mount Jackson, is accused of setting up an ex-girlfriend to be assaulted by Breaunna Dawn Anderson-Hinkle, 19, who allegedly attacked the girl and caused ...

Woodstock man sentenced in rape case

WOODSTOCK -- After entering an Alford plea of guilty in June to a rape charge, a local man was sentenced on Friday to 15 years imprisonment. Hector Vicente Pelico, also known as Jacinto Vicente Pelico, 30, was charged with raping an 11-year-old girl in February 2016. He maintains his ...