Charlottesville Breaking News

Civil squirm: Huguely must testify in $30 million lawsuit

Two months after an explosive criminal trial and mere days before time expired to file a civil suit, Sharon Love has filed a $30 million action against the man convicted of killing her 22-year-old daughter. While doubts arise about the likelihood that she will ever collect a penny from the convicted killer, Mrs. Love may get something more valuable: seeing George W. Huguely V take the stand.

"The Loves could call George Huguely as the first witness in the plaintiff's case," says legal analyst David Heilberg, who notes that might be a savvy strategy.

"I love to do that when we perceive our adversary to be the scoundrel," says Heilberg, a practicing lawyer. "You put them right out there first. It sets the tone."

Heilberg says the chance to see Huguely squirm may begin long before the former University of Virginia college lacrosse player ever reaches the witness stand, as the Loves would likely force Huguely to submit to questioning during the pre-trial investigative process known as "depositions."

In a deposition, lawyers for the Love family would likely conduct a veritable fishing expedition and ask questions about money, women, sports, and prior acts of violence.

"The fishing expedition aspect of depositions is to determine what devil is in the details not known before filing,...

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Vacancies down: But can renters absorb enough empties?

The number of vacant houses has fallen by more than a third. Could this be the recovery sign that blogging realtor Jim Duncan hopes it is?

On April 20, Duncan posted an entry on realcentralva.com that noted, according to his calculations, that the percentage of vacant homes listed for sale in the Multiple Listing Service has fallen from 36 percent in 2007 to 23 percent today.

First, what's so bad about vacant homes? For starters, even under the best of circumstances, some insurance companies require an inspection before agreeing to underwrite a home that has been vacant. Other insurers demand something called a vacancy endorsement if the house is going to be uninhabited for more than 30 days after the purchase.

Potential buyers are understandably concerned about the potential neglect and deferred maintenance items that so frequently accompany homes left empty by job transfers, marriages, deaths, or other changes in family circumstances. But when a vacancy occurs due to a foreclosure or a short sale, as is so often happens in these current market conditions, concerns multiply.

A homeowner facing foreclosure may have neither the means nor the motivation to continue the upkeep, a situation that often results in significant deterioration before the bank takes ownership. Once uninhabited, bank-owned...

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Mugshot drag: Crime Times error raises ire

Nobody ever wants to see their picture in a mugshot magazine, but one man says his concern over a misdemeanor arrest was compounded into utter humiliation and outrage when Crime Times printed his mug with a more serious set of charges. Now, he's planning to sue.

"People called my parents, they called me, there were rumors all over town," says J.T. Suddarth, 46, who was arrested for driving while intoxicated but shocked to find his picture appearing in the March 20 edition with these three charges, two of which are felonies: Reckless handling of a firearm. Discharge of firearm in an occupied building. Possess/transport firearms by convicted felon x2.

"I've never owned a gun," says Suddarth, an Albemarle High School and Longwood College grad who says he'd never before been arrested and portrays the label as a two-time felon who'd shoot a weapon indoors and around people as particularly traumatic.

"The DUI is not a good thing," says Suddarth. "This is 10 times as bad as that."

When his boss at the used car dealership, where he works in sales, summoned him and confronted him with the firearms a...

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Everybody's place: Citizen Burger Bar set for Memorial Day opening

Restaurateur Andy McClure says he's been trying to open a place on the Downtown Mall for several years. And he came close a few times, once at The Gleason, and another time closer downtown where Jean Theory is right now. Now finally, as the Dish recently reported, he's secured the space formerly occupied by Siips Wine & Champagne Bar, which, after four years, bowed out in February. Now the historic store space, formerly occupied by such businesses as C.H. Williams, Hamilton's of Bermuda, and April's Corner, will become Citizen Burger Bar.

McClure, who owns The Virginian, West Main Restaurant, the Biltmore, and Three, says he's shooting for a Memorial Day weekend opening, but he's got his work cut out for him. Siips was a dark and cavernous space, so McClure and his architect, Mike Stoneking, have basically gutted the place for a reinvention of the space.

"There are a lot of found treasures here,"...

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FunStuff: Charlottesville events May 3 and beyond

 

First stop for First Fridays
With its artist studios and monthly receptions, McGuffey Art Center is the headquarters for the local art scene, the place you're going to find some art that you like. Photographers Margo Hamilton and Ron Evans take the main gallery with their archival ink-printed photos (like Hamilton's Swan shown here). Scott Supraner's ceramic reliefs and Blake Hurt's "Lines on Faces" ink-on-canvas, paper, acrylic, and glass works line the lower hall. Upstairs, Jefferson School African-American Cultural Center's Andrea Douglas curated "From Backyard Clotheslines to Museum Walls," with the work of Frank Walker and the late Gerry Mitchell.
May 4, McGuffey Art Center, 5:30-7:30pm, free

 

 

Skip Castro at FA5
How far people will drive to see a show tells you a lot about a band, and we'v...

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