Courts & Legal News

Man pleads guilty to larceny, gun charges

FRONT ROYAL -- A local man pleaded guilty on Monday to a variety of gun, drug and larceny charges as part of a plea agreement. Tony William Hatfield Jr., 27, sold buprenorphine and naloxone -- drugs found in Suboxone, a narcotic pain reliever typically used as a heroin substitute for ...

Man pleads guilty to long list of larceny charges

FRONT ROYAL -- A local man pleaded guilty on Tuesday to several charges related to a heroin-fueled burglary spree in Warren County in early 2016. Andrew Scott Polk, 25,  was sentenced to 90 years imprisonment, and will serve 13 years and nine months of that time in prison. He must also ...

Woman pleads guilty to drug charge

FRONT ROYAL -- A Kingwood, West Virginia, woman pleaded guilty on Tuesday to methamphetamine possession with the intent to distribute as part of a plea agreement. Donna Denise Hardwick, 32, was at a Front Royal 7-Eleven on John Marshall Highway in January when authorities received a call about ...

Teacher pleads no contest to child sex charges

FRONT ROYAL -- Circuit Judge Ronald L. Napier on Monday accepted a plea agreement in the case against a former Skyline High School teacher charged with having sexual relationships with his students. Steven Roger Bretsch, 33, of Haymarket, pleaded no contest to two counts of taking indecent ...

Stabbing case against Edinburg woman dismissed

WOODSTOCK -- The malicious wounding charge against an Edinburg woman who was accused of stabbing her live-in boyfriend was dismissed Friday during a bench trial. Tammy Lynn Gnegy, 25, was charged with stabbing Phillip Runion on Nov. 16. When Runion took the witness stand to testify, he ...

Man pleads guilty by Alford to jail escape

WOODSTOCK -- A Stanley, Virginia, man entered an Alford plea of guilty Wednesday to walking off from his work release assignment in September 2016. Zachary Aaron Sours, 34, was an inmate at the Page County Jail and was at a work release facility in Quicksburg on Sept. 14, 2016, when he ...

Bond appeal denied in child rape case

WOODSTOCK -- Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp Wednesday denied a defense attorney's  motion for bond for a Fort Valley man accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl. James Allen Lutz’s attorney, David Downes, argued for bond on “humanitarian grounds” because Lutz’s mother is ill ...

Teen indicted in Edinburg stabbing

WOODSTOCK -- A grand jury on Wednesday indicted an Edinburg teen accused of stabbing a mother and her two daughters in a park on May 18. Samual Jacob Homer, 18, was indicted on two counts of attempted first-degree murder and five counts of possessing child pornography. The public defender’s ...

Fraud defendant found incompetent to stand trial

WOODSTOCK -- An Edinburg woman facing 19 fraud-related charges from 2015 was found incompetent to stand trial on Wednesday. Barbara Ann Stickley, 69, is accused of taking about $23,000 through ATM machines in 2015. Stickley allegedly made the withdrawals from checking accounts belonging to ...

Man pleads no contest to assaulting officers

FRONT ROYAL -- A Culpeper man pleaded no contest as part of a plea agreement on Tuesday to two counts of assaulting an officer, assault and battery and destruction of property. On April 25, two Front Royal police officers were called to a room at the Skyline Motel for a domestic disturbance. ...

Man indicted in stepfather’s murder

FRONT ROYAL -- A grand jury Wednesday indicted a local man accused of shooting and killing his stepfather in March. David Glynn Hoyle Jr., 33, was indicted on two charges: first-degree murder and the use of a firearm in the commission of a felony. Hoyle is accused of shooting his stepfather, ...

Teacher indicted on child sex charges, plans to enter plea agreement

FRONT ROYAL -- A grand jury Wednesday indicted a former Skyline High School teacher accused of having sexual relationships with two of his students. Steven Bretsch, 33, of Haymarket, was indicted on two counts of taking indecent liberties with a child by a person in a custodial or supervisory ...

Man gets jail time in DUI case

WOODSTOCK -- Circuit Judge Dennis L. Hupp sentenced a Harrisonburg man to serve jail time on Wednesday after he pleaded guilty by Alford in May to his third DUI offense in 10 years. Jeffrey Allen Neff was originally indicted on committing a third DUI in five years, but that indictment was ...

How the jury found a Front Royal man guilty of murder

FRONT ROYAL -- The attorneys in the Clay Marshall Curtis murder trial set the scene for the week-long trial to be nothing and everything like a Quentin Tarantino film. “This is not going to be a straightforward story,” Commonwealth’s Attorney Brian Madden said during his opening ...

Teacher’s child sex case headed to grand jury

FRONT ROYAL -- The case against the former Skyline High School teacher accused of having sexual relationships with two of his female students will be sent to the July grand jury, Judge William W. Sharp decided on Thursday in Warren County Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court. Steven ...

Man found guilty of 1st degree murder

FRONT ROYAL -- After less than two hours of deliberation, A jury Thursday found Clay Marshall Curtis guilty of first degree murder in the 2014 shooting death of Front Royal cab driver Simon Funk. The jury chose the maximum punishment, and recommended life imprisonment with a $100,000 ...

Judge orders psych evaluation in teen murder case

FRONT ROYAL -- Circuit Judge Clifford L. Athey Jr. Thursday ordered a psychological evaluation in the case of a Gore teen accused in the stabbing death of his girlfriend in March. William “Beau” Bassler and David Hensley, the defense attorneys representing the defendant, Bailey Lincoln ...

Possible motive revealed in murder trial

FRONT ROYAL -- The inmate that murder defendant Clay Marshall Curtis allegedly confessed to while in Rappahannock-Shenandoah-Warren Regional Jail testified on Wednesday to what he heard from Curtis about the December 2014 shooting death of Front Royal cab driver Simon Funk. According to the ...

Murder scene details emerge in trial

FRONT ROYAL -- Several prosecution witnesses described Monday at the murder trial of Clay Marshall Curtis what they found at the December 2014 crime scene where the body of Front Royal cab driver Simon Funk was found. Winchester Police Officer Jason Poe, who was a sergeant with the Warren ...

Man testifies defendant tried to hit him with van

FRONT ROYAL -- The alleged victim in an attempted murder charge filed against Clay Marshall Curtis -- in addition to the first-degree murder charge Marshall is facing -- testified on Monday about his version of the December 2014 case. Jeff Sisler -- who lived across the street from Curtis’ ...