4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Most unusual charge: Defense attorney Debbie Wyatt is indicted on five misdemeanor counts of "embracery," a charge dating to the Middle Ages, for allegedly attempting to influence a 2004 grand jury when she informed it of her availability as a witness on behalf of her client.
Most coincidental timing: Wyatt was indicted in 2005, but the indictments aren't unsealed until November 5, the day before the election in which Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Camblos, longtime Wyatt adversary and the man who requested a special prosecutor in the case, seeks his fifth term in office, the Daily Progress reports.
More Camblos adversaries: The Crime Victims United of Virginia PAC launches a series of anti-Camblos ads days after endorsing his opponent, Denise Lunsford, on October 26. CVUV board members Tim Heaphy, a former U.S. attorney, and Liz Seccuro, the victim of a 1984 attack nationally known as the "12-step" rape, resign from the board. The day before the election, a statement on the CVUV website accuses Camblos of coming to a board member's home and place of business and "attempting to intimidate" PAC members.
Worst time to take a trip: Five days before the election, the Progress reports that two city officials seeking re-election– Mayor David Brown and School Board Chairman Alvin Edwards– are going to sister city Poggio a Caiano, Italy, November 7 on a taxpayer-financed trip to set up a student exchange program. Also in the traveling party are lame duck City Councilor Kendra Hamilton, school Superintendent Rosa Atkins, and Assistant Supe Gertrude Ivory. Edwards says he'll pay his own way, and Hamilton decides to drop the trip to avoid being a distraction to the program. At press time, Atkins also announces that she will not be going.
Most obvious question: Does this mean Charlottesville City schools will start teaching Italian?
Biggest election brouhaha in Nelson: Sheriff Gary Brantley puts his top deputy, Captain John M. Dixon, on leave after Dixon endorses Mac Bridgewater in a paid ad in the hotly contested sheriff's race, the Nelson County Times reports. Bridgewater, a Nelson deputy, was running against another deputy, David Brooks.
Biggest setback for Andrew Alston: The former UVA student and convicted killer of firefighter Walker Sisk in 2003 is rejected when he appeals his three-year probation to the Virginia Supreme Court, according to Rob Seal in the Progress. Alston served three years in prison for voluntary manslaughter for stabbing Sisk 18 times on the Corner.
Latest on Beefy Brown: The trial of Douglas Michael "Beefy" Brown, charged in the death of an off-duty Colonial Heights police officer as Brown fled Chesterfield police in a high-speed chase, is postponed until December 10 because a key witness, Edward L. Knight, who was in the speeding van with Brown, doesn't show up in court October 29.
Worst gas station robbery: The Ivy Road Exxon is hit November 2, and a clerk chases the suspect, described as red hoodie-wearing 20something black male, but is unable to catch him and ends up being taken to the hospital because of chest pains.
Best place to lock your kids in a room with a port-a-john: In Augusta County, where a jury finds Crimora couple Steve and Heather Tomlin not guilty November 5 of four counts of child cruelty for locking their two teenage daughters in their room with the windows nailed shut for a year, NBC29 reports. Witnesses testify they'd never seen the girls locked up when they came to visit.
Best targeting its market: Forefront Church in Virginia Beach offers services on Tuesday nights at the White Horse Pub for those who like to drink and smoke while they get religion.