TJ's ghost: Students sneak into history

On Saturday evening, March 20, members of UVA's Raven Society gathered for cocktails in Alumni Hall to celebrate the prestigious group's 100th anniversary.

A dinner in Mem Gym followed, and according to a letter posted on the Raven website from Society president Cameron Howell, the gala evening closed with "port, cigars, and toasts" back in Alumni Hall.

For one Raven member and her companion, however, the evening didn't come to a close at Alumni Hall but instead ended in the wee hours of Sunday morning with the pair's arrest following a rendezvous at Thomas Jefferson's historic home, Monticello.

Though Heather Lynn Horn and Connor Hyland Ginley, both UVA nursing students, declined comment for this story, they have each stated publicly that they meant no harm by their late-night expedition.

"We just drove up to the exterior of the gate," The Daily Progress quoted Horn on Monday, March 22.

And Ginley, said in The Washington Post two days later, "We were just appreciating Monticello... We were just walking around enjoying ourselves. We didn't damage anything."

Damage or not, Monticello brass isn't amused.

"The charge of breaking and entering the house is absolutely valid," says Dan Jordan, declining to elaborate on the actual location of the accused when they were discovered.

The break-in is the first such incident during Jordan's 20-year-tenure, though he says he "doesn't know about earlier days."

According to Albemarle County Police Lt. Earl Newton, the couple were apprehended by Monticello security sometime just after 2am on Sunday, March 21. Newton says a guard "noticed the top portion of a downstairs window open, and heard a woman's voice." The two were caught as they were walking away from the house, and County police were summoned for the arrest. Newton says he's unaware of any reports regarding alcohol use before or during the incident.

According to the Commonwealth Attorney's office, Horn and Ginley have been charged with breaking and entering, a felony, and have a preliminary hearing scheduled for May 6 at 10:30am in Albemarle County General District Court.

In addition to legal sanctions, it's the students who could face consequences from UVA. Raven president Howell declined comment about Horn's standing with the Raven Society. But UVA spokesperson Carol Wood said any repercussions would come through the University Judiciary Committee, a student-run body that handles complaints regarding student behavior.

Like the UVA Honor Council, the UJC can issue a variety of punishments, ranging from warning to restitution to expulsion, "depending on the gravity of the offense," says Wood.

It's unlikely such results would ever hit the news, however.

"We never make that public," says Wood.

Heather Lynn Horn's March 21 mugshot

Connor Hyland Ginley's March 21 mugshot