4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review
Worst on so many levels: A 13-year-old girl is accidentally shot in the leg September 9 at Forest Hills Park by a gun-toting 14-year-old boy who was aiming at someone else. The shooter claims he found the piece, and won't tell police what he did with it. He's charged with attempted malicious wounding, and two felony counts for use of a firearm.
Biggest patricide case: After deliberating three hours, a Richmond jury convicts former UVA student Alan Y. Chang of voluntary manslaughter and unlawful wounding for beating his father to death with a bowling pin at the family home January 15, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. The jury, apparently believing abusive-dad claims, recommends a sentence of four years and a $2,500 fine.
Least sympathetic victim: The father, Jian Zhang, 47, brutalized his wife, children, parents, siblings and even coworkers for decades, according to multiple witnesses.
Latest in the Parkway shootings: A federal grand jury indicts Stuarts Draft resident Ralph Leon Jackson on three counts in the April 5 Blue Ridge Parkway attack of Christina Floyd at Rock Point Overlook. Additional charges are expected for the murder of WNRN DJ Tim Davis.
Latest Ponzi conviction: One of Terry Dowdell's minions, Brigit "Gitte" Mechlenburg, 62, pleads guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud September 9 in federal court. The extradited Danish citizen brought in $13 million from investors to the international Vavasseur scheme that defrauded more than $100 million between 1998 and 2002. Dowdell is serving a 15-year sentence, while Mechlenburg will be sentenced to five years on December 10.
Latest pedestrian fatality: Kam Tamang, 36, who was hit trying to cross U.S. 250 at Pantops August 27, dies September 10 at UVA Medical Center. According to Albemarle police, Tamang was wearing dark clothing and had been drinking when he was struck by an SUV driven by Robert Noble. No charges were filed in what is the county's eighth fatality this year, which police attribute to pedestrian error and alcohol.
Seventh traffic fatality: Johnie Lee Ray, 81, dies September 7 from an August 28 crash on Dick Woods Road. Ray pulled a vehicle into the path of Julia H. Martin, 71, who was seriously injured, but has been released. Police blame driver error, and say no charges will be filed.
Most eye-popping possible sentences: Leandra Isiah Henderson, 20, pleads guilty to selling less than a gram of coke for $100 to a Jefferson Area Drug Enforcement task force informant on two occasions, and faces 40 years on each count. His codefendant, Keisa Annette Bell, who pleaded guilty to two counts of possession with intent to distribute, faces up to 40 years in prison, the DP reports.
Fastest track: UVA President Teresa Sullivan floats the idea of a "three plus one" program–- an undergraduate degree in three years, plus a master's degree in year four. According to Brian McNeill in the Progress, Sullivan calls the idea a "value proposition" that would help the tuition-strapped parents of high-achieving students who enter the university with college credit.
Biggest expansion: Albemarle's Board of Supervisors okays a rezoning at Fontaine Research Park that will allow UVA to add 310K square feet to the currently built-out 565,000 square feet, Charlottesville Tomorrow reports.
Best invite for best teams: UVA's women rowers, who won their first national title, and men's soccer team, which won its sixth, were in Washington September 13 at an NCAA reception hosted by President Barack Obama.
Best reason to ditch the disinfectant: UVA researchers led by cold expert Ronald Turner determine that alcohol-based hand sanitizers do little to thwart the spread of cold and flu viruses.