Charlottesville Breaking News

What do you think about false confessions?

6 comments | read more

Double recantation: Is an innocent man in jail for the Crozet murders?

It was the crime that rocked Crozet: a mother found stabbed to death in bed, her three-year-old son dead from the smoke of a cover-up fire. Amid whispers of witchcraft, four neighborhood teens were arrested, and three are doing time today in state prisons.

One of them, Rocky Fugett, now 27, admits he was there that night in 2003, for which he was convicted along with his sister and another neighborhood kid. Eight years later, Fugett says an innocent man is serving time for something he didn't do, and that man– Robert Davis– wasn't even there.

Davis' attorney, Steve Rosenfield, has long maintained that his client was coerced into a false confession, and with Fugett recanting, Rosenfield now seeks clemency from the governor. Fugett, serving a 75-year sentence on a guilty plea, says he has nothing to gain from changing his story.

As the clemency petition heads to Richmond, accounts differ and questions remain. But Rocky Fugett has another bombshell allegation: that another personplayed a key role in the events of that fateful night.

Crozet Crossing

Named for the peach trees that once grew there, Cling Lane is a cul-de-sac of 30 homes tucked between the railroad tracks and the older homes of Orchard Acres. Officially known as Crozet Crossing, the subdivision was planned in the early 1990s to provide first-time home ownership for hardworking families.

Much like ...

11 comments | read more

The week in review

Greatest disparity in sentencing in Lousia: Remone J. Houchens robs, brutally beats and blinds an 87-year-old woman and is sentenced June 1 to 30 years. That same day, Canadian Alan Sauve, 48, is convicted of 22 counts of soliciting a minor and gets a 110-year prison sentence.

Grimmest mountaintop discovery: A Suzuki hatchback 500 feet below Horsehead Overlook on the Skyline containing the body of a Farmville woman is found June 2, NBC29 reports. Authorities later identified her as Lisa Baughman, 53.

Hottest bus: A Charlottesville Area Transit vehicle bursts into flame June 1 on Water Street when, according to reports, a broken fuel line ignites. Nobody was hurt.

Worst train casualty: A CSX train eastbound in Scottsville strikes a person on the tracks around 2am June 1. Determining it to be a suicide, police release no further information.

 

Worst dispute between neighbors: Vernon Leroy Shifflett is found guilty of voluntary manslaughter in the shooting of his neighbor, Gifford "Trix" Crawford, and sentenced to six mon...

5 comments | read more

Since 2010: Kaine makes first Biscuit Run comment

Since the revelation that a potentially hyperinflated appraisal could have defrauded Virginia taxpayers out of millions of dollars, former governor Tim Kaine has now made his first public statements on the state's controversial purchase of what will eventually become Biscuit Run State Park. And he's still enthusiastic.

"I thought it was a very good deal," Kaine says.

Appearing calm and well-briefed on the issue, the now U.S. Senate hopeful paused briefly with reporters after a fundraising lunch at a Charlottesville restaurant on Tuesday, June 7 to answer questions.

Kaine says that only the $9.8 million cash purchase price and not the millions in appraisal-dependent tax credits– which he says the sellers tried to amass after the transaction– were part of his gubernatorial calculus.

"We made no deal on the tax credits," says Kaine. "That is something the tax department does."

As the Hook has reported, a group of deep-pocketed speculators– including millionaire bank founder Hunter Craig and music mogul Coran Capshaw–  unloaded the troubled property on the state in late 2009 after their plans for housing flopped.

According to leaked documents, the group tried to snag over $30 million in tax credits by claiming– just four and a half years and one popped bubble after buying it– that...

10 comments | read more

Unhipping? JPA Colonial Revival may not be revived

Last Week, the Hook's cover story [Extreme Makeover: rich edition] showed how wealthy property owners have taken advantage of the State's generous Historic Rehabilitation Tax Credit Program, receiving hundreds of thousands in tax breaks for fixing up their old homes. Over on the east side of Jefferson Park Avenue, home to some of the City's most attractive residences (and where the parallel roads are now oddly traffic-free due to the bridge reconstruction), there stands what appears to be an ideal candidate for a rehabilitation program: a uninhabited circa 1912 Colonial Revival-style one and one-half story, 2,753 square-foot home purchased last September and in need of some TLC.

However, despite paying close to $400,000 for the property, its owner, local businessman J. Kermit Anderson, recently applied for a demolition permit. The Hook left messages with Anderson, curious about what he planned to build at what has been known as number 2424, and whether he had considered rehabilitating the place with the help of historic tax credits, but he has yet to respond.

However, according to City officials, Anderson has no interest in saving the old house.

"The property isn't protected. I spoke to Mr. Anderson to see if he would reconsider the demolition," says City Preservation Planner Mary Joy Scala, "but he says the building...

5 comments | read more
EDITOR'S NOTE
12 comments
Editor's Note
4BETTER OR WORSE
4Better Or Worse
CORRECTIONS
Corrections
CULTUREVULTURE
2 comments
CultureVulture
EDITOR'S NOTE
42 comments
Editor's Note