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Upbeat budget news could spell pay raises in school system

Setting an optimistic tone for this year’s school budget, Superintendent of Schools Merle Herndon said she hopes money will be available this year to provide teachers and support staff with…

Halifax County school discipline panel to begin work

South Boston council approves refinancing plan


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Comets close strong for gritty win

Robert E. Lee-Springfield had been making trouble in the Region 5-A playoffs, and the pesky Lancers put Halifax County High School on its heels early Saturday night.

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Former deputy indicted on juvenile rape charge

SoVaNow.com / April 17, 2013
A Mecklenburg County grand jury on Monday indicted former Sheriff’s Deputy Christopher D. Smith of Skipwith on one count of felonious rape of a minor by an adult. Smith was one of 11 individuals whose cases were advanced by the circuit court grand jury.

Smith was initially arrested on Nov. 16, after an investigation by the Virginia State Police. At the time, he was a four-year veteran of the Mecklenburg County Sheriff’s Office. His most recent assignment was as a road deputy. Smith was terminated from his position at the time of his arrest.

The alleged offense occurred between Aug. 3, and Aug. 6, according to the indictment, which is a finding by the grand jury that sufficient evidence exists to bring a case to trial. It is not a finding of guilt.

Smith Randy Krantz, Bedford County Commonwealth’s Attorney, is overseeing the case as special prosecutor. Krantz took over the prosecution from Halifax County Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Freshour, who was initially appointed by the Virginia Supreme Court but subsequently recused himself due to a conflict. Mecklenburg County Commonwealth’s Attorney Nora Miller also recused herself due to conflicts.

The investigation was conducted by Special Agent D.E. Leslie of the Virginia State Police.

Smith was released from the Pamunkey Jail after his bond hearing on Nov. 21 and after a bond of $100,000 was posted.

In other indictments, drug-related charges were advanced against five separate individuals.

Luther David Hilliard Jr. was indicted on one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana. He also was indicted on two counts of child abuse, one count of felony possession of ammunition after having been convicted of a felony, and one count of felony possession, with intent to transport, a firearm by a violent felon.

Charity Ann Allen was indicted on one count of possession with intent to distribute marijuana.

Walter Lee, Richardson Jr., was indicted on one count of possession with intent to manufacture a Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance.

Steve Alexander Upton Jr. was indicted on two counts of conspiracy to manufacture, sell, or distribute a Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance, and three counts of sale or resale of a Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance.

Sara Renee Oleson was similarly indicted on two counts of conspiracy to manufacture, sell, or distribute a Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance, and three counts of sale or resale of a Schedule I or Schedule II controlled substance.

Kenneth Lee Jones was indicted for driving after having been declared a habitual offender.

Finally, four individuals were separately indicted on one count of grand larceny, including Alyssa Renee Kern, Mason Daniel Graham, Zachary Lee Pharr and Ivory Hall, II.

Pharr and Hall each received an additional and separate indictment for breaking and entering with intent to commit larceny, assault and battery or a felony.



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