Charlottesville Breaking News

Volunteer fear: Graduation rapist convicted of stalking activist

news-kitzeJeff Kitze served 20 years in prison for raping and beating of his sister's roommate the day after she graduated from UVA Law School. PHOTO CHARLOTTESVILLE POLICE

Since his release from prison two years ago for the infamous 1989 graduation rape, Jeffrey Kitze has had a hard time getting a date. Returned to prison last year for unwelcome dating overtures, he was found guilty Monday, January 10, of stalking a Charlottesville woman.

Singles are often told that volunteering is a good way to meet people, and that's the avenue Kitze tried following his January 2009 release after serving 20 years for raping and beating his sister's UVA Law School roommate. Kitze donated time to the Virginia Organizing Project, but it was the attention he lavished on a fellow volunteer at a group called Food Not Bombs that resulted in the stalking conviction.

Wearing prison stripes, Kitze, 49, did not testify during the three-and-a-half hour trial, but...

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No show: New charges, but Huguely murder hearing delayed again

cover-laxmurd-huguely-insetHuguely won a continuance Monday morning. UVA SPORTS, CPD

Reporters hoping to catch a glimpse of George Wesley Huguely V, the wealthy college lacrosse player who became a striped-jumpsuit-wearing inmate, were denied another opportunity on Monday, January 10, as his lawyer won a third continuance in the case in which Huguely is charged with slaying his ex-girlfriend.

"Judge, I can say that both sides have been moving with diligence," declared Huguely lawyer Fran Lawrence. "There's just a lot of stuff that's still out there."

Lawrence noted that the defense team, which also includes Rhonda Quagliana, has yet to examine about 20 of the approximately 112 items arrayed in the case against their client, a 23-year-old whose previous spurts of violence went unpublicized until he allegedly erupted last spring in a fatal rage.

On May 3 inside an apartment on 14th Street, Charlottesville...

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No bail: Abshire pleads poverty in first court appearance

cover-abshire-court-insetEric Abshire made his first court appearance Thursday in the Orange County Circuit Court. Inset: Abshire at a November 3, 2007 vigil for Justine. PHOTO BY COURTENEY STUART/INSET BY JAY KUHLMANN

After spending nearly three weeks behind bars, accused wife-killer Eric Abshire was forced to wait seven hours past his scheduled hearing time before he was led into the Orange County Circuit courtroom at around 5pm on Thursday, January 6 for his first appearance in what appears already on its way to becoming a lengthy legal process.

Wearing handcuffs, leg shackles, and the orange-and-white-striped uniform of the Central Virginia Regional Jail, where he has been held since his December 17 arrest on first degree murder and perjury charges, the 36-year-old Abshire painted a bleak picture of his finances as he asked Judge Daniel Bouton for a court-appointed attorney.

Standing erect and speaking in a steady tone, the former...

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Mid-air collision kills two in Weyer's Cave

news-snap-copter-cropThe helicopter was photographed over Charlottesville in July. PHOTO BY HAWES SPENCER

The two occupants of a single-engine Cessna airplane are dead after after a mid-air collision with a medevac helicopter near the Shenandoah Valley Regional Airport in the Augusta County community of Weyers Cave.

Jacob H. Kiser, 19, of the Rockingham County town of Grottoes, and Jason A. Long, 32, of the Shenandoah County town of Edinburg, died at the scene, according to a State Police release.

Police say the accident occurred at 2:27pm Friday, December 31 as the helicopter, known as "AirCare 5," was returning to its base at the Airport after taking a patient to the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville. Although one skid on the copter was damaged, it landed with no injury to the occupants, a pilot and two medical personnel.

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Breaking news: Eric Abshire arrested

cover-justineanderic3Eric Abshire and Justine Swartz Abshire on their wedding day in May 2006. She would be dead less than six months later. PHOTO COURTESY SWARTZ FAMILY

Eric Abshire will spend the holiday behind bars, according to Orange County Commonwealth's Attorney Diana Wheeler, who says that the fact Abshire was directly indicted by a grand jury coupled with the court's abbreviated holiday schedule means Abshire won't get his first day in Orange County circuit court until the new year, when he'll be asked if he's obtained representation or wishes to have an attorney appointed.

"The court usually hears criminal cases on Thursdays and Fridays," says Wheeler, but because of the holidays, January 6 was the "earliest possible hearing" for Abshire, who was ordered held without bond.

Abshire was arrested and charged with first degree murder and perjury late in the afternoon of Friday, December 17 as he drove south on Route 29 near the town of Culpep...

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