Crime and Public Safety
OCTOBER 7 UPDATE: A former Radford University student pleaded guilty today to killing her college roommate last January. The judge then sentenced Luisa Cutting to 20 years in prison. Cutting admitted fatally stabbing Alexa Cannon at the off-campus apartment they shared.
SEPTEMBER 5 UPDATE: The former Radford University student charged with fatally stabbing her college roommate has waived her right to a preliminary hearing. The attorney for Luisa Cutting told the court there are “significant mental issues” related to the killing. Cutting made her first court appearance since she was charged with second-degree murder in the death of Alexa Cannon. The case is scheduled to go next before a grand jury September 13.
JANUARY 25: Radford Police identify the person fatally stabbed Thursday as Alexa Cannon. Police say she was a Radford University student who is formerly from Roanoke. 21-year-old Luisa Cutting is charged with second degree murder.
PREVIOUS: A Radford University student is charged with fatally stabbing another woman. 21-year-old Luisa Cutting of Culpepper County faces a second-degree murder charge. Radford City Police say they were called this morning to a residence where they found the victim dead with multiple stab wounds. They have not yet released her identity. University officials confirm Cutting has been enrolled as a student there.
An October article from the Radford student newspaper refers to a Luisa Cutting as President of the Student Latino Alliance.
From Radford City Police: On January 24, 2019 at 7:45 a.m. the Radford City Police Department was dispatched to the 1200 block of Clement Street in reference to a 911 call. Upon arrival officers located a deceased female who had multiple stab wounds. The victim is not being identified at this point, due to identification and next of kin notification.
After an investigation, officers have made an arrest in this incident. Luisa I. Cutting, age 21, from Jeffersonton, VA, has been charged with violating Virginia Code 18.2-32- Murder in the second degree. No further information will be released at this point. Anybody with any information is asked to contact the Radford City Police Department at (540)-731-3624, or email email@example.com .
UPDATED NEWS RELEASE: The victim in this incident has been identified as Chad Erndt, 30 of Roanoke. No arrests have been made regarding this incident at this time.
PREVIOUS: On October 5, 2019 just before midnight, Roanoke Police responded to a report of shots fired in the 3800 block of Williamson Rd NW. Arriving officers located an adult male with gunshot wounds outside of a business [WR Brews] in the immediate area. Roanoke Fire-EMS personnel pronounced the male deceased on scene. This is an ongoing investigation. Police do not believe there is any further danger to the community regarding this incident. No arrests have been made at this time.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call (540)344-8500 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.
NEWS RELEASE: The Henry County Sheriff’s Office has been conducting an ongoing investigation into the manufacturing and distribution of marijuana. On October 4, 2019 the Henry County Sheriff’s Office VICE and Street Crimes Units executed a narcotics search warrant at 8030 Virginia Ave., Bassett, VA.
Upon the execution of the search warrant, an indoor marijuana growing operation capable of producing millions of dollars worth of marijuana was discovered. The unoccupied home was found to be solely used for the illegal cultivation of marijuana.
(Photos: Henry County Sheriff’s Office)
The home had been converted into a greenhouse environment complete with elaborate, sophisticated grow light systems, heating and cooling systems, hydroponic fertilization systems, carbon dioxide enhancers and ventilation systems. The home also contained equipment used in the harvesting and processing of marijuana.
During the course of the investigation, 409 marijuana plants in varying stages from seedling to recently harvested were seized along with approximately 20 pounds of marijuana buds that were ready for distribution.
The approximate street value of the narcotics is in excess of 1.3 million dollars.
Through the course of the investigation it was discovered that the home belongs to an individual who is believed to live in Miami Florida. The Sheriff’s Office is working to locate the owner at this time. This matter remains under investigation.
Anyone having information pertaining to this or any other narcotic trafficking operations is asked to contact the Henry County Sheriff’s Office at (276) 638-8751 or Crimestoppers at 63-CRIME (632-7463). The Crimestoppers Program offers rewards up to $2500.00 for information related to crime. The nature of the crime and the substance of the information determine the amount of reward paid.
ABINGDON, Va. (AP) — A Virginia doctor who prosecutors said ran his Martinsville medical practice like an interstate drug distribution ring was sentenced Wednesday to 40 years in prison for illegally prescribing opioids. Dr. Joel Smithers, of Greensboro, North Carolina, was sentenced in U.S. District Court in Abingdon.
Executive Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Day Rottenborn said Judge James Jones sentenced Smithers to 40 years. He faced a mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years and a maximum of life. Smithers was convicted in May of more than 800 counts of illegally distributing opioids, including oxycodone and oxymorphone that caused the death of a West Virginia woman.
Authorities say Smithers prescribed more than 500,000 doses of opioids to patients from Virginia, Kentucky, West Virginia, Ohio and Tennessee while based in Martinsville, Virginia, from 2015 to 2017.
Smithers, 36, a married father of five, testified that he was a caring doctor who was deceived by some of his patients. Some patients remained fiercely loyal to him, testifying that they needed the powerful opioids he prescribed for them to cope with chronic pain.
Smithers wrote in a court filing that he plans to appeal his convictions.
UPDATE: Roanoke Police say a 17-year-old murder suspect has turned himself in. Police say Ozmeik Clements faces a first-degree murder charge for last month’s shooting death of another 17-year-old, Savion Scales, at 13th and Campbell Southwest.
NEWS RELEASE: On October 1, 2019 at around 1:30 pm, the 17-year-old suspect [Ozmeik Clements] involved in this incident came to the Roanoke Police Department and turned himself in to police. He was taken into custody without incident. All outstanding warrants were served. This is an ongoing investigation. There is nothing else we can share with the public at this time.
PREVIOUS: Roanoke Police have identified the victim of last week’s fatal shooting at 13th and Campbell Southwest. They confirmed what family and friends had already said: he was 17-year-old Savion Scales. Meantime, police are still looking for a suspect in the case. Ozmeik Clements, who is also 17, faces a first-degree murder charge.
PREVIOUS: Roanoke Police have arrested a teenage suspect for a shooting death this week, and they are seeking a second. Police say 18-year-old Cinque Fayette of Roanoke is charged with the murder of a juvenile Wednesday night near 13th and Campbell Southwest. Officers are asking for help finding 17-year-old Ozmeik Clements. He faces a first-degree murder charge.
UPDATE FROM ROANOKE POLICE: Regarding this incident, on September 12th Roanoke Police arrested Cinque Fayette, 18 of Roanoke. Fayette is charged with 2nd degree murder. Roanoke Police are also seeking the community’s assistance locating a second individual. Ozmeik Clements, 17 of Roanoke, is wanted on charges of 1st degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission of murder. Clements (pictured attached) is described as a black male, approximately 5 ft tall and weighs 110 lbs. Anyone with information about Clements whereabouts or this incident is asked to call (540)344-8500 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.
PREVIOUS:On September 11, 2019 just before 10:00 pm, Roanoke Police responded to a report of a person shot at the intersection of 13th Street SW and Campbell Avenue SW. Upon arrival, officers located a juvenile male who had been shot. Roanoke Fire-EMS pronounced the male deceased on scene. Roanoke Police are currently on scene investigating. No arrests have been made regarding this incident. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call (540)344-8500 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.
Franklin Road in Roanoke is back open after a crash this morning that sent one person to the hospital. The driver of the vehicle, sustained minor injuries after hitting a ditch and knocking over a power pole in the 33 hundred block of Franklin Road — that’s the area before Kabuki as you’re driving towards Electric Road on Franklin.
One person was taken to the hospital this morning following a vehicle crash in Roanoke. The driver of the vehicle, sustained minor injuries after hitting a ditch and knocking over a power pole in the 33 hundred block of Franklin Road — that’s the area before Kabuki as you’re driving towards Electric Road on Franklin. Authorities say that portion of the roadway will be closed until crews clear the scene.
NEWS RELEASE: On September 24, 2019 at 3:42 PM, the Vinton Police Department was called to the 900 block of Shelbourne Ave for a fight in progress with a weapon. Upon arrival, officers found an injured male lying in the roadway. Preliminary investigative findings indicate the subject had been stabbed. The stabbing victim, 51 years old and from Roanoke, was transported to Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital. His condition is not known at this time.
Vinton Police have arrested and charged John Timothy Frye, age 50, of Bedford County with Aggravated Malicious Wounding. He is being held at the Roanoke County Jail.
The matter remains under investigation and no further information is currently available for release.
Roanoke Police have identified the victim of this incident as Aubrey Belcher, 31 of Roanoke. This is still an ongoing investigation. No arrests have been made at this time.Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call (540)344-8500 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.
(previously from Roanoke PD) on September 22, just after 9:00 pm, Roanoke Police responded to a report of someone shot in the 100 block of 20th St NW. Arriving officers located an adult male with gunshot wounds inside a business in the area. Roanoke Fire-EMS personnel responded and pronounced the individual deceased on scene. Roanoke Police do not believe there is any further danger to the community regarding this incident. No arrests have been made at this time. This is an ongoing investigation. Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call (540)344-8500 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.