Crime and Public Safety
State Police say a hit-run driver struck a Bedford County school bus this afternoon with elementary school children aboard — and kept on going. It happened on Falling Creek Road between Huddleston and New London. Troopers say the white or gray pickup struck the bus’ driver’s side mirror, causing only minor damage. None of the children aboard the bus were hurt.
From State Police: The crash occurred at approximately 3:00p.m. on Route 714 (Falling Creek Road), near Route 808 (Island Creek Road) in Bedford County. The Bedford County school bus was struck by a white or gray pick-up truck traveling south on Route 714. The pick-up truck struck the driver’s side mirror of the bus; the truck did not stop at the scene of the crash. The bus was transporting children 8 years old and under. There were no injuries to the children or the bus driver and only minor damage to the bus. Another bus responded to the scene to take the children home. The Virginia State Police continue to investigate to locate the truck and the driver. There is no other information at this time.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) — Prosecutors and lawyers for a man accused of killing a woman during a white nationalist rally in Virginia have agreed that the judge at his trial should not try to salvage potential jurors who state any biases during the jury selection process.
James Alex Fields Jr., of Maumee, Ohio, is accused of driving his car into a crowd protesting against white nationalists in Charlottesville on Aug. 12, 2017. A 32-year-old woman died.
Fields’ trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 26.
The Daily Progress reports that Fields’ lawyers told Judge Richard Moore Thursday that they do not want him to “rehabilitate” jurors by asking them to put aside their biases. Prosecutors agreed with the motion’s intent.
Moore took it under advisement and plans to revisit it when the trial begins.
UPDATE November 16: Roanoke Police Chief Tim Jones says the father of missing baby Arieanna Day remains a “strong suspect” in her disappearance and likely death — and her mother is, in his words, “certainly a person of interest”.
Jones says police are using some new high-tech DNA recovery technology in efforts to speed up the case. Police are again asking for help in helping solve the case. The three-month-old girl has been missing since September 11.
UPDATE October 11: Roanoke Police say one month after four-month-old Arieanna Day disappeared, the case remains one of their highest priorities. They promise to dedicate as many personnel as possible to the investigation until she is found. They ask anyone with any information related to the baby girl’s disappearance to come forward.
From Roanoke City Police: Today, October 11th, marks the one month anniversary of four month old Arieanna Day’s disappearance. This investigation is one of our highest priorities. The Roanoke Police Department and the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office will continue to dedicate as many resources as possible to this investigation and we will continue to search for her until she is found. As part of these efforts, we are asking anyone who may have had recent contact with Arieanna or have any information related to her disappearance to please come forward. No piece of information is too small. Her family deserves answers. This is an incredibly difficult time for her family. As part of our commitment to this family, we continue to follow up on every lead and turn over every stone to find Arieanna.
Anyone who may have information regarding this disappearance should contact the Roanoke Police City Department at (540)853-2212 or the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office at (540) 382-6915.
UPDATE October 3: A baby who has been missing from her Roanoke home for weeks has been added to a statewide list of missing children. Arieanna Day went missing from her Hanover Avenue home on September 11th. While Roanoke City Police say they believe at this point the baby is dead, they have not yet found her body. The only person charged in the case is Arieanna’s father, Andrew Terry – he’s been charged with illegal disposal of a body, but no one in law enforcement has been willing to explain the charge.
UPDATE September 18: A search warrant identifies the man arrested in connection with Arieanna Day’s disappearance as the baby girl’s father. The warrant says Andrew Terry was at the Roanoke home the day Arieanna disappeared and had communications with the baby’s mother. Terry is charged in Montgomery County with illegal disposal of a body, but police say there has been no trace of three-month-old Arieanna since she disappeared one week ago today.
UPDATE Friday from Roanoke Police: At this time, Roanoke Police are still searching for Arieanna Day. Arieanna was last seen wearing a pink onesie and matching pink socks and is approximately 2 feet long and 14 lbs. We are following leads and continuing the investigation into the circumstances leading up to Arieanna’s disappearance. We are continuing to work with other agencies, including the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Virginia State Police, Blacksburg Police Department, Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Blacksburg Volunteer Rescue Squad, Norfolk Southern Railway, Federal Bureau of Investigation, and Virginia Search and Rescue Council. The incoming severe weather threat could impact our search efforts. We are asking anyone with information about this investigation to please come forward. Someone knows something about Arieanna. If you think you know anything pertaining to this case, please call the Roanoke Police Department at (540)344-8500 and share what you know.
THURSDAY: Roanoke Police say three-month old Arieanna Day is “most likely deceased”. She is the three-month-old girl reported missing from her northwest Roanoke home Tuesday evening. In a related development, 31-year-old Christopher Terry is charged with illegally disposing of a body in Montgomery County, and officials say that arrest is connected to Arieanna’s disappearance.
From Roanoke Police: The Roanoke Police Department continues to actively investigate the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Arieanna Day. Our agency personnel are working with other law enforcement resources to follow up on the information received from several individuals connected to this investigation. The investigative focus has now shifted to the realistic possibility that circumstances related to Arieanna Day indicate that she is most likely deceased. We are continuing our investigation with this in mind, and hope that we can bring closure to this case and family.
PREVIOUS: A Roanoke man is charged with illegally disposing of a body in Montgomery County, and officials now confirm that it is connected to Tuesday night’s disappearance of three-month-old Arieanna Day from her Roanoke home. Beyond that, officials say only 31-year-old Andrew Christopher Terry was arrested and jailed last night as part of an “active criminal investigation” in Roanoke, and for now, no further details yet being offered.
From the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office: On September 12, Investigators from our office were contacted by Detectives from Roanoke Police Department to assist with an active criminal investigation. At 9:16 p.m. on September 12, working in conjunction with Roanoke Police Department, Investigators from our office arrested 31 year old Andrew Christopher Terry of Roanoke, VA. He was charged in connection with the illegal disposal of a body. He is being held in the Montgomery County Jail with no bond. This is an on-going criminal investigation. No further information is available at this time.
WEDNESDAY: Roanoke Police are searching for a missing three-month-old girl. Arienna Day was last seen last night at her Hanover Avenue home. Her mother tells police she put the baby girl to bed around 10 pm, and when she checked back an hour or so later, Arienna was not there. Roanoke City Police Chief Tim Jones:
Police say because there is no sign of forced entry or abduction, and because there is no known vehicle in which Arienna might be riding, this case does not meet the criteria for an Amber Alert. Officials say both the mother and a man stating he is the father have cooperated in the investigation.
UPDATE from Roanoke County Police: The second suspect, Ms. Natalia Simone Smith of Roanoke, is still at large and we request the public’s assistance in locating her. Charges have been obtained on Smith for Abduction and kidnapping (18.2‐47) and Grand larceny (18.2‐95). She is a black female, approximately 40‐years of age, approximately 5’6, and 140lbs.
PREVIOUS: Roanoke County Police are looking for a woman allegedly involved with an abduction and robbery yesterday along the 7100 block of Williamson Road, near Peters Creek Road. Police say someone broke into the victim’s residence, stole some items from it, and forced her to go elsewhere. One man is under arrest, but officers are looking for Natalia Smith of Roanoke.
From Roanoke County Police: On Monday, October 22, 2018 at approximately 2:42 p.m., Roanoke County Police officers responded to the 7100 block of Williamson Road in Roanoke County in reference to an abduction and robbery. It was reported that the victim’s residence was entered by force and the victim was forced to go to another location. The victim reported several items, including a vehicle having been stolen from the scene. The vehicle was located a short time later by police. Officers arriving on scene identified and detained one of the suspects, Mr. Christopher Kendall Nicholas, 27, of Roanoke. Nicholas was arrested at the scene and charged with Abduction and kidnapping, Robbery and Grand larceny. The second suspect, Ms. Natalia Simone Smith of Roanoke, is still at large and we request the public’s assistance in locating her. Charges have been obtained on Smith for Abduction and kidnapping, and Grand larceny. She is a black female, approximately 40‐years of age, approximately 5’6, and 140lbs. Anyone with additional information about this crime is asked to call Detective Grubb at (540) 777‐8641. There is no threat to the public at this time.
A special prosecutor has determined that two Montgomery County sheriff’s deputies were justified in fatally shooting a county resident in August. Franklin County Commonwealth’s Attorney A.J. Dudley says the two were reasonable in believing their lives were in immediate danger when confronting 18-year-old Taylor Tincher, who had a loaded handgun. Dudley says criminal charges against the deputies are not warranted, and none will be filed.
From Special Prosecutor A.J. Dudley: On August 25, 2018, 18-year-old Taylor Kiel Etienne Tincher, a resident of Montgomery County, Va., died from a gunshot wound sustained after an encounter with two Montgomery County Sheriff’s deputies. As a result, Montgomery County’s Commonwealth’s Attorney, Mary K. Pettitt, requested that the Circuit Court of Montgomery County appoint a Special Prosecutor. On August 30, 2018, the Circuit Court of Montgomery County appointed me to serve as that Special Prosecutor. My sole task is to determine whether any criminal charge is warranted under the circumstances surrounding Tincher’s death.
The role of a Special Prosecutor is to review the facts and circumstances of a particular case and decide whether there is probable cause to believe a crime has been committed. The evidence must show either (1) the presence of malice on behalf of the person or persons involved or (2) gross, reckless disregard for the life or safety of others, which is criminal negligence.
The Virginia State Police investigated Tincher’s death and, on October 26, 2018, formally submitted to me a report including voluminous written records, the autopsy report, photographs, witness statements, and audio files. My conclusion of this case is also based on my discussion with the Medical Examiner who performed the autopsy and additional legal research on recent judicial pronouncements regarding an officer’s use of deadly force.
Based upon the facts available to me at this time, the actions of neither Montgomery County Sheriff’s Deputy warrant criminal prosecution. Tincher’s actions placed the deputies in a position where they reasonably believed that either of them personally, or other occupants in or about the residence at 940 Walton, were in imminent danger of death or serious bodily injury. Tincher, armed with a handgun (later confirmed to be loaded with ammunition), ignored repeated commands from both his mother and law enforcement to disarm himself. Thus, criminal charges are not appropriate under these circumstances, and none will be pursued.
Two Franklin County men are charged with a series of break-ins and burglaries in the Glade Hill and Union Hall areas. The sheriff’s office says 54-year-old James Smith and 26-year-old Alan Crook were arrested after search warrants led to recovery of dozens of items including chain saws, weedeaters and tools. Officials say Smith also faces drug and firearms charges.
From the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office:
Incident: Break Ins/Larcenies
Incident Reported: 10/26/2018-11/6/2018
Location of Incident: Numerous locations in the Glade Hill and Union Hall communities of Franklin County to include: Old Franklin Turnpike, Dillards Hill Rd., Pinegrove Rd., and Farmview Rd.
Suspect #1 Name: James Todd Smith of Glade Hill, VA
Suspect #1 Age: 54
Possession of Stolen Property
Possession with Intent to Distribute Methamphetamine
Possess Firearm as a Convicted Felon
Possession of a Firearm While in Possession of Drugs
Suspect #2 Name: Alan Michael Crook of Glade Hill, VA
Suspect #2 Age: 26
Possession of Stolen Property
Additional remarks: On 11/8/18, members of the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office Investigations and Special Investigations Divisions executed multiple search warrants in Franklin County in relation to a series of break ins and larcenies in the Glade Hill and Union Hall communities of Franklin County. The search warrants resulted in the recovery of 37 items that were reported stolen to include; chainsaws, weed eaters, tools, etc. Smith and Crook have both been charged and are currently being held in the Western Virginia Regional Jail without bond. The investigation is ongoing and additional charges may be pending. Anyone with additional information or inquiries about property can contact Captain Paul Caldwell at 540-352-5174.
From the Franklin County Sheriff’s Office:On 9/15/18 and 9/17/18, the Franklin County Sherriff’s Office began an investigation in to two break ins at the same residence on Lakemount Dr. in the Moneta community of Franklin County. This residence was unoccupied and had been damaged from a recent fire. Investigators soon developed Zachariah Markham and Brittany Nichols as suspects. Both Nichols and Markham were charged with Breaking and Entering and Grand Larceny. Markham was also charged with Destruction of Property. Nichols and Markham are both currently being held in the Western Virginia regional Jail without bond.
On 10/30/18, deputies responded to the same residence on Lakemount Dr. in reference to a suspicious person in the area. Deputies located the subject and were quickly able to determine that the subject did not belong in that area. Deputies and Investigators were able to locate three additional subjects as well as recover stolen items related to the break in. Christopher Palmero, Amanda Maggio, Joseph Stewart and Brett Halsey were all charged with Burglary and Grand Larceny. The investigation also led to search warrants in Roanoke and Vinton as well as the additional arrest of Keith Arrington for Burglary and Grand Larceny. The owners of the estate have been advised to make arrangements to more properly secure the residence. This investigation is ongoing and additional charges may be pending. Halsey is being held in the Western Virginia Regional Jail without bond. Both Maggio and Palmero are being held in the WVRJ on a 5,000.00 bond. Stewart bonded out on a 10,000.00 bond and Arrington bonded out on a 1,500.00 bond.
From Roanoke City Police: On November 8, 2018 just before 7:00 a.m., Roanoke Police responded to a report of a shooting in the 3400 block of Bennett Dr. NW. On arrival, officers located an adult male with a gunshot wound inside the residence. The male was transported by Roanoke Fire-EMS to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital where he is being treated for his injury.
Other parties on scene are being interviewed by Roanoke Police at this time. This is an ongoing investigation. Roanoke Police do not believe there is any immediate danger to the community in regard to this incident. If you have any information in reference to this incident, you’re asked to call us at (540)334-8500 and share what you know. You can also text us at 274637; please begin the text with “RoanokePD” to ensure it’s properly sent. Both calls and texts can remain anonymous.
Bedford County Sheriff Mike Brown says state police are investigating a member of his staff following accusations regarding behavior with a juvenile. Brown says Corporal Daniel Clark was promptly suspended once the complaint was received last month. Clark remains listed on the Liberty High School staff page as the school’s resource officer.
From the Bedford County Sheriff’s Office: On Thursday October 11, 2018, this office received a complaint containing accusations against Cpl. Daniel Clark and his behavior with a juvenile. Within an hour of receiving the complaint Cpl. Daniel Clark was placed on administrative leave with pay and the Virginia State Police was contacted with our request to investigate these accusations. The Virginia State Police is currently conducting an investigation. No other information will be released until the investigation is completed by the VSP.
UPDATE: A Lynchburg grand jury has indicted a former Lord Botetourt High School student on charges that include murder for the death of her 22-month-old daughter. Other counts forwarded against 20-year-old Fantasia Lane include child abuse and endangerment. She was arrested in August after her toddler daughter Amarah was brought to Lynchburg General Hospital in August with series injuries. She died later at UVA Medical Center. A trial date is set for March.
AUGUST 2018: A former Lord Botetourt High School student faces charges in Lynchburg after police there say her 22-month-old child was abused and later died from her injuries. 20-year-old Fantasia Lane was already charged with felony child abuse, and police say after the toddler died yesterday, more charges are now pending.
From Lynchburg Police: On August 11, 2018, officers responded to the Lynchburg General l Hospital for an injured child who had been brought there by her mother. Based on initial findings, members of the Criminal Investigations Division responded and began to look into the events that preceded the child’s arrival at the hospital. Due to the extent of her injuries, the 22-month-old child was then transported to UVA Medical Center in Charlottesville, VA for further treatment. Based on the preliminary investigation and the extent of the child’s injuries, Detective Tucker sought charges on the child’s mother for Felony Child Abuse. Fantasia Ashante Lane, a 20-year-old resident of Lynchburg, was arrested and transported to the Blue Ridge Regional Jail where she was held without bond. On August 16, 2018, the 22-month-old child succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced dead. Additional charges are now pending in this case. This is an active and ongoing investigation. Anyone with further information related to this case is asked to contact Detective Tucker at (434) 455-6116. You may remain anonymous by contacting Crime Stoppers at 1-888-798-5900, by visiting the Crime Stoppers website at www.cvcrimestoppers.org, or by using the P3 app on your mobile device.