Courts & Legal News

Area man faces child pornography charges

A Stephens City resident and former Federal Emergency Management Agency employee faces child pornography charges. Law enforcement on Thursday arrested Jonathan Derek Riley at his mother's Stephens City home where he resides, said Investigator Jason Killian, of the Northern Virginia/Washington ...

Strasburg man pleads guilty to drug charges

FRONT ROYAL -- A Strasburg man pleaded guilty Monday to three counts of cocaine distribution as part of a plea agreement. Jermaine Bershawn Tigney, 33, sold crack cocaine to a confidential informant equipped with an audio recording device on three separate incidents in 2014. On each occasion, ...

Circuit judge announces retirement plans

Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp  has announced he plans to retire from the judicial circuit after 26 years on the bench. The retirement will take effect on Aug. 1, Hupp said in a letter Friday to the Shenandoah County Bar Association. The circuit includes Shenandoah, Frederick, Warren, Clarke, ...

Edinburg man pleads guilty to long list of drug charges

WOODSTOCK -- An Edinburg man pleaded guilty on Wednesday to several drug charges stemming from multiple incidents, including a February 2016 methamphetamine bust at his home. Joshua Aaron Riffey, 35, was sentenced to serve one year and 11 months of a 32-year sentence as part of the agreement, ...

Convicted diner robber asks to withdraw guilty plea

WOODSTOCK -- A convicted co-conspirator in the January attempted robbery of Ben’s Diner asked on Wednesday to withdraw the guilty pleas he entered in June. Raymond Lamar Washington, 28, was identified as the leader of the robbery plot during the trial of Andrea Scalf. She was found guilty on ...

Three Mississippi men arrested on drug charges

WOODSTOCK -- Three men from Mississippi were arrested on Tuesday after a traffic stop in town led to the discovery of approximately $15,000 worth of ecstasy pills. Sgt. F.L. (Les) Tyler of the Virginia State Police said Lucas Montel Howard, 38, of Jackson, Mississippi, was driving a 2018 Kia ...

Jury finds Fort Valley man guilty on child rape charges

WOODSTOCK -- After only seven minutes of deliberation, a jury on Monday found a Fort Valley man guilty of two counts of rape and one count of aggravated sexual battery against a 12-year-old girl, verdicts that were accompanied by tentative sentences of two life sentences, one for each rape ...

Former area man guilty of timeshare fraud scheme

HARRISONBURG – A former Frederick County man pleaded guilty in federal court Friday to defrauding owners of timeshare properties. Michael Dean Kent, 57, also known as Michael Dean and Michael Scott, most recently of Franklin County, North Carolina, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in ...

Strasburg man pleads guilty to cocaine distribution

WOODSTOCK -- Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp accepted a plea agreement Wednesday that called for a Strasburg man to plead guilty to cocaine distribution. Christian Eli Medrano-Umanzor, 25, sold a half gram of cocaine for $60 to a confidential informant in the informant’s car in September 2016, ...

Edinburg teen indicted on additional stabbing charges

WOODSTOCK -- The Edinburg teen accused in the stabbing of a mother and her two daughters at a park in May was indicted on additional charges Wednesday. The grand jury indicted Samual Jacob Homer, 18, on three counts of aggravated malicious wounding from the May 18 incident. He was indicted on ...

Bond appeal denied in child abuse case

WOODSTOCK -- Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp denied a defense motion to grant bond Wednesday in the case involving a Mount Jackson man accused of causing serious injury to his 3-month-old daughter. Hirving Ayala, 23, was arrested on Sept. 13 on several charges related to the incident in which the ...

Sheriff wants funds released

The Shenandoah County sheriff is asking the Shenandoah County Circuit Court to declare that funds from an undercover operation, currently controlled by the Sheriff's Office, U.S. Justice Department and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, should be given solely to the ...

Jury trial tentatively set in burglary case

WOODSTOCK -- After recalculating an interstate speedy trial deadline Thursday, Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp tentatively set a jury trial to begin on Dec. 11 in a case involving a Martinsburg, West Virginia man accused in several Shenandoah County burglaries. Terry Wayne Siford, 41, was ...

Mistrial declared in malicious wounding case

FRONT ROYAL -- Circuit Judge James Lane declared a mistrial on Tuesday in the case of a  local man accused of maliciously harming a woman in February. The jury trial for Paul Michael Sullivan, 36, who is accused of repeatedly punching a woman in her face and body in a motel in February, was ...

Woman pleads guilty to prescription fraud

FRONT ROYAL -- A local woman pleaded guilty on Tuesday as part of a plea agreement to being the courier in a fraudulent prescription drug scheme. The prosecution, in accordance with the plea agreement, dropped one of the prescription fraud charges against Kassie Ann Burke. Burke pleaded guilty ...

Teen pleads guilty to bringing gun to school

WOODSTOCK -- A local teen pleaded guilty Monday to six charges stemming from him bringing a gun to Central High School in October. Nicholas Dawson, 17, was charged as an adult after he brought his father’s 9mm Glock handgun to school on Oct. 12-14,  when he was 16 years old. A student ...

Speedy trial questioned in burglary case

WOODSTOCK -- The burglary-related charges against a Martinsburg, West Virginia, man may have to be dropped and brought back to the court to comply with an interstate speedy trial rule, Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp determined on Wednesday. Terry Wayne Siford, 41, was indicted in July 2014 on 27 ...

Woman pleads no contest to prescription fraud

FRONT ROYAL -- A local woman pleaded no contest on Tuesday to 16 prescription fraud charges as part of a plea agreement after she wrote fraudulent prescriptions while working administratively in a medical office. Kimberly Ann Isner, 42, was falsifying prescriptions between December 2014 and ...

Jury trial set in teen murder case

FRONT ROYAL -- A jury trial in the case involving the Gore teen accused of stabbing his girlfriend to death in March was set on Monday for early 2018. The psychological evaluation for Bailey Lincoln Powell, 18, which was ordered on June 28 to determine his mental competency at the time of the ...

Man sentenced to life imprisonment in cab driver’s murder

FRONT ROYAL -- Clay Marshall Curtis, convicted of first-degree murder in the December 2014 shooting death of  Front Royal cab driver Simon Funk, was sentenced Monday to life imprisonment and a $100,000 fine. The sentence, imposed by Circuit Judge Clifford L. Athey Jr.,  upheld a verdict ...