The week in review
Biggest backlash: Culpeper Commonwealth's Attorney Gary Close abruptly resigns March 12 after a federal judge reverses a capital murder conviction against Michael Wayne Hash, citing extreme police and prosecutorial misconduct, the Star Exponent reports.
Latest in the Eddie Snead murder: Wanda Turner, the woman accused of stabbing Snead, who was found dead March 5 in his Fairway Avenue apartment, is denied bond March 7, the DP reports. Turner's record includes a 2007 cocaine possession conviction in Charlottesville Circuit Court, a 2001 unlawful wounding conviction in Fluvanna, and bad checks in 2009 in Charlottesville General District Court.
Latest in the David Cowan death: Two men charged in the February 3, 2011, shooting plead guilty to obstruction of justice and have seven other charges dismissed. Jermaine Antron Mulford and Whitmore Arnold "Weedy" Merrick, friends of Cowan, who was accidentally shot, each are sentenced to 12 months suspended, Ted Strong reports in the DP.
Worst road rage: Gordonsville resident Harold Tazewell Morris Jr., 44, rams into the back of a woman's vehicle March 5– twice– as she waits to turn left from Long Street onto High, pushing her car into the intersection, according to police. He then strikes another car, drives into an Albemarle police officer, hits a pole on Stewart Street, attempts to run away, gets back in his truck and tries to drive away again before police arrest him. Morris faces an attempted capital murder charge, four other felonies, and a DUI.
Worst hazards of smoking: Smoldering cigarette butts are blamed for burning up a shed, a John Deere Gator, and a backpack blower at PVCC March 7. Damages are estimated at $25,000.
Latest fire threat to worry about: Overheated bathroom fans, one of which caught on fire last month and seriously damaged the home of the Monge family in Crozet, NBC29 reports. Steps to avoid a bathroom blaze: vacuum the dust and lint behind the fan cover, or buy a fan with a thermal shut-off.
Best tribute– and reminder: On March 12, Newark renames the intersection where a Clark Elementary third-grade teacher was gunned down last July the Dawn Reddick Plaza, the Newsplex reports. Reddick's killer has not been arrested.
Slowest growth: Thanks to the efforts of UVA docs, the tallest man in the world, 8-feet 3-inches tall Sultan Kosen from Turkey, has stopped growing.
Grandest larceny: Former Albemarle employee Alex Hunt, 35, pleads guilty March 6 to stealing 111 laptops from from the county school division, Samantha Koon reports in the Progress. He's sentenced to 11 months in prison and must pay the county $1,000 and insurer Liberty Mutual Agency Markets $83,000.
Most expensive trial: George Huguely's 12-day murder trial cost Charlottesville around $32,000, including $5,800 in sheriff's office overtime and approximately $20,000 for the commonwealth's attorney office to fly in witnesses and provide accommodations. Henry Graff has the story for NBC29.
Most surprising survey: Seven of 10 local residents say a U.S. 29 bypass around Charlottesville is needed, but almost as many say they're open to an alternative route if cheaper and more efficient, according to a survey partially commissioned by Charlottesville Tomorrow and conducted by UVA's Center for Survey Research.
Most sensible remarks from Pat Robertson: The oft-controversial televangelist tells the New York Times that marijuana should be legalized because the war on drugs hasn't worked, costs taxpayers billions, and he blasts the conservative claim that criminalization amounts to being tough on crime as "baloney."
Best invite/worst snub: UVA men's basketball team gets invited to the Big Dance– the NCAA tournament– for the first time since 2007 as a number 10 seed and plays Florida in Omaha on Friday, March 23; the Lady Cavs do not.