Local con-man Jefferson Ward dead?
He was known as Jefferson Ward, DJ Twist, and by his given name, Jeffrey Allen Ward. He was also known as an habitual criminal and liar who left a string of bad checks and grandiose tales throughout Charlottesville. Ward died November 7, "peacefully," according to a Washington Post obituary, and was buried at a private interment November 16 following services in Washington. According to a family member who asks not to be identified, Ward died of a blood clot.
Ward, who adopted the name "Jefferson" when he moved to Charlottesville in the late '80s, was a cancer survivor who claimed to be a former UVA football player in a 2002 article in the Hook. Relatives called to contradict that assertion, and the university had no record of Ward ever attending or playing football there. The 48-year-old courthouse regular also insisted he was 10 years younger, even after his own mother confirmed his April 19, 1958, birthdate.
His lengthy rap sheet went from bad to worse in 2004 when he was charged with rape and assault, although the charges brought by a woman who alleged he drugged and raped her ultimately were dropped. He served 12 months in jail for the assault, in which he bit off the tip of a man's finger and hit him over the head with a bottle.
Ward did a three-month stint as "DJ Twist" at WNRN before he was jailed while awaiting trial on the rape charges. His fellow DJs remember receiving bad checks, and they recall a tendency for money to disappear when he was on the premises.
"If God can help me overcome death, there's no other challenges I can't meet," Ward told the Hook in 2002 after surviving Stage 4 cancer of the throat and tongue. "Nobody can steal my joy."