Charlottesville Breaking News
The deadline for serving defendants in the $200 million civil suit against the City of Staunton passed on April 12, and the plaintiff says he's not sure whether his case will now be dismissed after a high-profile defendant allegedly avoided service.
"I'm very disappointed that the mayor– of all people– wouldn't come forward, acknowledge it, and defend the city," says plaintiff Bill Thomas of Staunton Mayor Lacy King, the allegedly uncooperative defendant.
Thomas's suit– which he's waging without the assistance of a lawyer– alleges decades of harassment and a conspiracy by city officials and police relating to a brutal double slaying in an ice cream parlor 41 years ago. Mayor King worked for the Staunton Police Department for 32 years before retiring as Deputy Chief in 2001, and he was elected to City Council the following year.
According to a notice in the court file, Thomas had 120 days after his December 13 filing to serve the defendants. He says he was advised by the U.S. District Court clerk in Roanoke to instead get the defendants to sign a form waiving service. So he sent certified letters to four defendants, including Mayor King, City Manager Stephen Owen, and Staunton City Attorney Douglas Guynn. Owen and Guynn signed, says Thomas.
Victor Santos, the attorney representing the city, says he also s...
A highly regarded UVA surgeon will be in court Monday, April 18 on charges that he assaulted a nurse last month while both were at work.
According to the court file in Albemarle County District Court, Dr. Abhinav "Bobby" Chhabra, 42, an orthopaedic surgeon and co-director of the new University of Virginia Hand Center, was arrested at his Glenmore home on April 4 on assault charges stemming from the March 22 incident involving Nancy Heister of Troy, Virginia, a nurse and patient care coordinator at the Center.
According to Heister's April 1 complaint, the assault occurred as she was walking down the hallway at the Center. Chhabra, she alleges, grabbed her by both her upper arms, spun her around, and forced her backwards into a ladder.
"My head went backwards when I hit the ladder," Heister writes in her complaint, "and my glasses fell off the back of my head."
Heister asked "What are you doing?" to which she says Chhabra responded, "I'm pushing you into a ladder."
Heister then grabbed her glasses and left.
Dr. Chhabra, a nationally recognized orthopaedic educator, helped create the Hand Center in 2002. In February, UVa’s Medical Center unveiled the newly renovated $4 million facilit...
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Investigators have been quiet on the Morgan Harrington case since January, when police led media on a tour of key sites including the John Paul Jones Arena, where the 20-year-old Virginia Tech student vanished during a year-and-a-half-ago Metallica concert. On Monday, April 18, however, the case roars back into a national spotlight as the Investigation Discovery channel debuts an hour-long installment of a popular mystery program.
The Hook was offered a pre-release view of this episode of the Disappeared series. Entitled "Heavy Metal Mystery," it features extensive interviews with parents Dan and Gil Harrington, Virginia State Police investigators Joe Rader and Dino Cappuzzo, newspaper deliverywoman and possible witness Norma Parson, (as well as a brief interview with this reporter.)
In a somber tone, a narrator offers grim facts with some scenes reenacted by actors. Dark lighting lends an ominous mood to the program, which focuses not only on the investigation, but on the terror and devastation the Harringtons have faced as they live through every parent's worst nightmare.
In one particularly chilling scene, a black-clad lookalike stands silhouetted on the Copeley Road bridge with her thumb out. The blonde education major's increasingly erratic behavior is suggested in other scenes.
As extensively reported in the Hook,...