Judge puts off trial in VFW building arson, theft case

Leslie Deavers

FRONT ROYAL – A judge has postponed next week’s jury trial for a woman charged with embezzling from a military veterans group then setting fire to its building in 2015.

Leslie Rose Deavers appeared in Warren County Circuit Court on Monday with her attorney David Downes.

Deavers stands charged with one count of embezzling more than $200 from the Front Royal chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars between Jan. 1, 2014 and May 1, 2015, and two counts of arson of an occupied building on July 11, 2015.

A three-day jury trial was scheduled to begin next Monday. Downes made a motion to continue because certain discovery evidence had not been made available. Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Bryan Layton told Judge Clifford L. Athey Jr. on Monday that he didn’t object to the motion. Athey granted Downes’ motion to continue the case. Deavers already had waived her right to a speedy trial and this motion was on the defense.

However, the judge found it difficult to find new dates for Deavers’ jury trial that fit in with the attorneys’ schedules as well as his. Athey had not yet scheduled the trial as of Tuesday afternoon.

Deavers, 56, of 102 Rugby St., Front Royal, remains free on a $25,000 secured bond.

A grand jury indicted Deavers on the charges Feb. 6, 2017 and the court ordered discovery evidence a week later. The court continued the case several times over the course of months and on Sept. 5 the judge ordered Downes to show cause for why he failed to appear. The court dismissed the case against Downes later that month.