6 CHS-UVa Attackers Plead Guilty

Belle writes:

Six CHS students — five black and one white — pleaded guilty yesterday to charges stemming from a series of assaults on UVa students. David Dadurka has a story in today’s Daily Progress, and Michael Loatman has a story in today’s Cavalier Daily.

Sentencing will take place in May.

22 Responses to “6 CHS-UVa Attackers Plead Guilty”


  • except for sentencing is this the last of the trials or are there more?

  • except for sentencing is this the last of the trials or are there more?

    There are more to come — even one “next week” according to Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Chapman.

    But, for sure, it is difficult to disentangle what happened yesterday. This is largely due to the secretive nature which the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office has chosen to use in its handling of these cases (elsewhere I’ve shown that this secrecy is not only contrary to Virginia code, but also, in my opinion, unhealthy for the community and contrary even to the self-interests of most City politicians – oh well) and all of the contrary reports about numbers of persons charged, with what they were charged, shoddy newspaper reporting, etc.

    I’ll try to see if I can work something up to post here later (unless someone else wants to take a crack at it first . . . please!).

  • When-oh-when will the Regress start to properly format and archive their stories?! I noticde that other Media General papers, including Lynchburg’s News Advance have recently seen website makeovers. Could our own Regress be next?

    Anyhow . . .

    Daily Progress (04/09/02)

    By DAVID DADURKA

    Daily Progress staff writer

    Six local teenagers — five black and one white — pleaded guilty Tuesday to charges stemming from a series of assaults on white and Asian college students.

    Four of the teens pleaded guilty to malicious wounding by mob, a felony, while another teen pleaded guilty to robbery.

    The sixth teen, a white female, pleaded guilty to being an accessory to a robbery after the fact. The girl is the only Caucasian known to have been charged in the incidents, and her arrest had not been made public until Tuesday.

    “We fully understand the importance of these cases and are doing our best to see justice done,” city Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Chapman said after the hearing in Charlottesville Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court.

    The assaults have attracted national attention because of statements made by city police early in their investigation that the attacks may have been motivated by race. A national white-rights group and a national Jewish group both took interest in the attacks because of the potential racial implications.

    During the hearing Tuesday, assistant prosecutor Elizabeth Killeen said she would not seek detention time for the teens who admitted to malicious wounding. The youths, three males and one female, already have served at least two weeks in a juvenile facility, she said.

    In addition, Judge Susan L. Whitlock agreed to reduce the malicious wounding convictions to assault and battery if the defendants comply with the terms of their probation for a year.

    The teen who pleaded guilty to robbery, a female, also faced a count of assault, but that charge was dropped. She will be sentenced in September, Whitlock said.

    The girl who pleaded guilty to being an accessory to robbery, Killeen said, drove two acquaintances from the scene of an attack on Jan. 18. The teen had watched a male acquaintance knock down a woman, then saw a female acquaintance return to the car with the woman’s purse, Killeen said.

    During the trial, the girl’s defense attorney, Dan Atkins, said she was involved in only one incident. The girl entered into a plea bargain with prosecutors, and her conviction will be dropped in one year if she complies with all the terms of her probation, Chapman said.

    The prosecutor would not release the ages of any of the teens who appeared in court Tuesday.

    Judge Whitlock ordered the defendants in all of the cases to have no contact with their victims and co-defendants. Chapman said the order is to ensure that defendants who are witnesses in upcoming cases will not be influenced by their co-defendants. The order also is a standard provision protecting victims.

    Another teen accused in the assaults will be tried next week, Chapman said.

    The only adult charged in the attacks, 18-year-old Gordon Lathan Fields, pleaded guilty last week to assault and battery by mob. He was sentenced to a month in jail.

    Fields, prosecutors have said, may be eligible for a “restorative justice” program, if it becomes available in Charlottesville. The program would seek to have him make restitution to his victim, and would involve face-to-face meetings.

    The arrest of the suspects in the attacks sparked a major discussion of race in Charlottesville. Some argued that the teens should be charged with hate crimes, but Chapman announced late last month that he had found no basis for such charges.

    The arrests also prompted the Rev. Alvin Edwards, a local black leader and former city mayor, to form three committees to discuss problems surrounding the attacks and to start a defense fund for the suspects. Edwards declined to comment on Tuesday’s convictions.

  • Six plead guilty in attacks near U.Va.

    3 cases involving juveniles remain

    BY CARLOS SANTOS

    TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER Apr 10, 2002

    CHARLOTTESVILLE – Six juveniles pleaded guilty yesterday in the city’s juvenile court to involvement in a series of random assaults on people near the University of Virginia.

    The series of attacks against 10 victims – some of whom were U.Va. students – stirred up questions about racial divisiveness in the city, especially after several of the assailants told police the victims were targeted because they were white.

    Five of the juveniles are black and one is white.

    But prosecutors, after questioning the assailants, victims and others, later determined there was not enough evidence to indicate the attacks were based on race.

    One of the groups selected for attack included victims whose “appearance was Oriental, Indian and white,” Dave Chapman, the city’s commonwealth attorney, said yesterday. “We do not have proof beyond a reasonable doubt that they targeted victims on the basis of race.”

    Chapman determined last month that hate crime charges would not be brought against any of the black teen-agers involved, most of whom attended Charlottesville High School at the time of the attacks. The five attacks occurred between September 2001 and January.

    In four of the six cases heard yesterday, each of the four black juveniles – none of whom had criminal records – pleaded guilty to one count of malicious wounding by mob, a felony.

    But as part of the plea agreement, the charges will be reduced to a misdemeanor count of assault and battery for each juvenile after one year of good behavior, after medical restitution is made to the victims and after cooperation with the prosecution in the three remaining cases. Those cases also involve black juveniles.

    The four juveniles already served between two and two-and-a-half weeks in juvenile detention after they were arrested. No additional time will be served if they follow the plea agreement.

    A fifth black juvenile pleaded guilty yesterday to a felony charge of robbery after an attack on a female near U.Va. on Sept. 25. The victim’s purse was taken after the attack. The juvenile will be sentenced later.

    One white juvenile pleaded guilty yesterday to a misdemean- or count of accessory after the fact to a robbery that occurred Jan. 18. The juvenile was driving the car used in the crime but did not participate in the robbery or attack.

    In evidence offered as part of the plea agreements, Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Elizabeth Killeen said that at times, two carloads of teen-agers used cell phones to talk to each other about potential attacks against victims.

    The teen-agers would drive around looking for victims. In one case, Killeen said, some of the assailants made an audiotape of one attack and played it later at school to laughter. The tape was never recovered.

    The only adult in the group, 18-year-old Gordon L. Fields of Charlottesville, pleaded guilty in city district court last month to a lesser charge of assault and battery by mob as part of a plea bargain. The conviction is a misdemeanor.

    Fields, who had been charged with felony malicious wounding for the Jan. 25 assault of a U.Va. student, was sentenced to six months in jail with five months suspended. He must also perform 50 hours of community service, pay restitution for victim medical costs, and cooperate with the prosecution in testifying against the others charged.

    The European-American Unity and Rights Organization, a national white-rights group led by former Ku Klux Klansman David Duke, has repeatedly demanded that the attackers be charged with hate crimes and threatened to protest in the city if hate crimes were not applied.

    Prosecutors and police have said they believed the attacks were motivated by some envious resentment of U.Va. students, by anger and aggression, a desire for fun and excitement and by peer pressure.

    The victims, who included males and females, sustained injuries ranging from scrapes to concussions. One victim sustained a broken cheekbone.

  • From the Dispatch article:

    In one case […] some of the assailants made an audiotape of one attack and played it later at school to laughter.

    What revolting scum! And then their boosters have the nerve to point the finger of blame at the University community.

  • Here’s my best effort at making sense of the recent news from the courts.

    Formerly, we were told that ten persons had been charged, and the age, sex, and charge(s) for each were announced. Then the City had to revise (because of incompetence or duplicity) the total down to nine persons. At the end of this post, I’ll make an argument for there being now at least ten folks charged – and maybe eleven.

    Here’s a listing of the defendants, in order of dates of adjudication:

    DEFENDANT #1

    DESCRIPTION: Gordon Lathan Fields, a 18-year old black male

    FACING CHARGE(S) OF: malicious wounding by mob for his role in attack #6 (01/25/02)

    ADJUDICATION: (03/29/02) plea bargain; pleaded guilty to assault and battery by mob.

    PENALTY: According to the terms of the agreement, [Judge] Downer sentenced Fields to 30 days in jail, with an additional five months suspended, to be served beginning June 24, after school lets out. Fields also must pay restitution to the three victims of the Jan. 25 attack, cooperate in the prosecution of others, and perform 50 hours of community service or participate in the city’s budding ‘restorative justice’ program.

    DEFENDANT #2

    DESCRIPTION: 15-year-old black female

    FACING CHARGE(S) OF: felony assault (=malicious wounding?) for her role in attack #6 (01/25/02).

    ADJUDICATION: (04/08/02) charge deferred for one year while the “while the Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court takes her behavior under advisement”(?).

    PENALTY: the above-mentioned court monitoring; and “[t]he judge ordered the teenager to talk with her victims about the assault’s impact on them. This represents an attempt at restorative justice.”

    DEFENDANT #3

    DESCRIPTION: a 17-year-old black female

    FACING CHARGE(S) OF: robbery and malicious wounding by mob for his role in attack #4 (the second incident on 01/12/02)

    ADJUDICATION: (04/08/02) plea bargain: defendant admitted guilt on the charge of malicious wounding; in return, the charge will be reduced to assault and battery after the successful completion of one year’s probation (the terms of which are unknown).

    PENALTY: Time served (=two weeks to two and a half weeks) if one-year probation is successfully completed; if not, who knows (but I would suppose the felony charge of malicious wounding would be reinstated, and the case would proceed with the defendant’s admission of guilt already in hand); payment of restitution for victims’ medical costs; and cooperation in the prosecution of others.

    DEFENDANT #4

    DESCRIPTION: a 17-year-old black female

    FACING CHARGE(S) OF: robbery and misdemeanor assault for her role in attack#??

    ADJUDICATION: (04/08/02) The teen pleaded guilty to robbery; assault charge was dropped.

    PENALTY: She will be sentenced in September.

    DEFENDANT #5

    DESCRIPTION: a 17-year-old black male

    FACING CHARGE(S) OF: robbery and malicious wounding by mob for his role in attack #4 (the second incident on 01/12/02)

    ADJUDICATION: (04/08/02) plea bargain: defendant admitted guilt on the charge of malicious wounding; in return, the charge will be reduced to assault and battery after the successful completion of one year’s probation (the terms of which are unknown).

    PENALTY: Time served (=two weeks to two and a half weeks) if one-year probation is successfully completed; if not, who knows (but I would suppose the felony charge of malicious wounding would be reinstated, and the case would proceed with the defendant’s admission of guilt already in hand); payment of restitution for victims’ medical costs; and cooperation in the prosecution of others. He will also be sentenced on September 3rd – presumably for the robbery(?)

    DEFENDANT #6

    DESCRIPTION: 16-year-old black male

    FACING CHARGE(S) OF: malicious wounding by mob for his role in attack #4 (the second incident on 01/12/02)

    ADJUDICATION: (04/08/02) plea bargain: defendant admitted guilt on the charge of malicious wounding; in return, the charge will be reduced to assault and battery after the successful completion of one year’s probation (the terms of which are unknown).

    PENALTY: Time served (=two weeks to two and a half weeks) if one-year probation is successfully completed; if not, who knows (but I would suppose the felony charge of malicious wounding would be reinstated, and the case would proceed with the defendant’s admission of guilt already in hand); payment of restitution for victims’ medical costs; and cooperation in the prosecution of others.

    DEFENDANT #7

    DESCRIPTION: white female juvenile (age not reported)

    FACING CHARGE(S) OF: ?? Assistant prosecutor Elizabeth Killeen explained that the defendant drove two acquaintances from the scene of an attack on Jan. 18 (attack# 5). The teen had watched a male acquaintance knock down a woman, then saw a female acquaintance return to the car with the woman’s purse. The defendant’s defense attorney, Dan Atkins, said she was involved in only one incident

    ADJUDICATION: (04/09/02) plea bargain; pleaded guilty to accessory to a robbery after the fact.

    PENALTY: probation; her conviction will be dropped in one year if she complies with all the terms of her probation.

    DEFENDANT #8

    DESCRIPTION: 16-year-old black male

    FACING CHARGE(S) OF: malicious wounding by mob for his role in attack #4 (the second incident on 01/12/02)

    ADJUDICATION: (04/08/02) plea bargain: defendant admitted guilt on the charge of malicious wounding; in return, the charge will be reduced to assault and battery after the successful completion of one year’s probation (the terms of which are unknown).

    PENALTY: Time served (=two weeks to two and a half weeks) if one-year probation is successfully completed; if not, who knows (but I would suppose the felony charge of malicious wounding would be reinstated, and the case would proceed with the defendant’s admission of guilt already in hand); payment of restitution for victims’ medical costs; and cooperation in the prosecution of others.

    DEFENDANT #9

    DESCRIPTION: black juvenile

    FACING CHARGES OF: ??

    ADJUDICATION: Commonwealth’s Attorney reported one defendant will be tried “next week”.

    DEFENDANT #10

    DESCRIPTION: black juvenile

    FACING CHARGES OF: ??

    ADJUDICATION:

    And I think there is a Defendant #11, who is another black juvenile. We read that six persons pleaded guilty to charges yesterday, which wouldn’t therefore include Defendant #2, who entered no such plea. That leaves three attackers to be tried, as reported in the Times-Dispatch today), unless one or more of the attackers is facing more than one trial.

    I welcome any and all additions, criticisms, suggested changes, different inferences from published reports, etc.

  • wow, a very complete report by Belle. Thank you.

    There’s at least one female juvenile, and one male juvenile left to be charged. Look for these two, and possibly another if Belle’s math is correct, to face more serious charges. The previous convictions have not mentioned the gun or the stolen purse found in the accused attackers homes, which leads me to believe that the next two charged may have had a more serious involvement, and were probably involved in more than one assault.

    any guesses why the Daily Progress didn’t mention the cell-phone calls that were used to plan the attacks, or the tape that was replayed for laughs at CHS?

  • Tracking the Thugs (with some typos and dates fixed)

    Here’s my best effort at making sense of the recent news from the courts.

    Formerly, we were told that ten persons had been charged, and the age, sex, and charge(s) for six persons were announced. Then the City had to revise (because of incompetence or duplicity) the total down to nine persons. At the end of this post, I’ll make an argument for there being now at least ten folks charged – and maybe eleven.

    Here’s a listing of the defendants, in order of dates of adjudication:

    DEFENDANT #1

    DESCRIPTION: Gordon Lathan Fields, a 18-year old black male

    FACING CHARGE(S) OF: malicious wounding by mob for his role in attack #6 (01/25/02)

    ADJUDICATION: (03/29/02) plea bargain; pleaded guilty to assault and battery by mob.

    PENALTY: According to the terms of the agreement, [Judge] Downer sentenced Fields to 30 days in jail, with an additional five months suspended, to be served beginning June 24, after school lets out. Fields also must pay restitution to the three victims of the Jan. 25 attack, cooperate in the prosecution of others, and perform 50 hours of community service or participate in the city’s budding ‘restorative justice’ program.

    DEFENDANT #2

    DESCRIPTION: 15-year-old black female

    FACING CHARGE(S) OF: felony assault (=malicious wounding?) for her role in attack #6 (01/25/02).

    ADJUDICATION: (04/09/02) charge deferred for one year while the “while the Juvenile & Domestic Relations Court takes her behavior under advisement”(?).

    PENALTY: the above-mentioned court monitoring; and “[t]he judge ordered the teenager to talk with her victims about the assault’s impact on them. This represents an attempt at restorative justice.”

    DEFENDANT #3

    DESCRIPTION: a 17-year-old black female

    FACING CHARGE(S) OF: robbery and malicious wounding by mob for her role in attack #4 (the second incident on 01/12/02)

    ADJUDICATION: (04/09/02) plea bargain: defendant admitted guilt on the charge of malicious wounding; in return, the charge will be reduced to assault and battery after the successful completion of one year’s probation (the terms of which are unknown).

    PENALTY: Time served (=two weeks to two and a half weeks) if one-year probation is successfully completed; if not, who knows (but I would suppose the felony charge of malicious wounding would be reinstated, and the case would proceed with the defendant’s admission of guilt already in hand); payment of restitution for victims’ medical costs; and cooperation in the prosecution of others.

    DEFENDANT #4

    DESCRIPTION: a 17-year-old black female

    FACING CHARGE(S) OF: robbery and misdemeanor assault for her role in attack#?? — but perhaps attack #1 (09/15/01) or attack # 5 (01/18/02).

    ADJUDICATION: (04/09/02) The teen pleaded guilty to robbery; assault charge was dropped.

    PENALTY: She will be sentenced in September.

    DEFENDANT #5

    DESCRIPTION: a 17-year-old black male

    FACING CHARGE(S) OF: robbery and malicious wounding by mob for his role in attack #4 (the second incident on 01/12/02)

    ADJUDICATION: (04/09/02) plea bargain: defendant admitted guilt on the charge of malicious wounding; in return, the charge will be reduced to assault and battery after the successful completion of one year’s probation (the terms of which are unknown).

    PENALTY: Time served (=two weeks to two and a half weeks) if one-year probation is successfully completed; if not, who knows (but I would suppose the felony charge of malicious wounding would be reinstated, and the case would proceed with the defendant’s admission of guilt already in hand); payment of restitution for victims’ medical costs; and cooperation in the prosecution of others. He will also be sentenced on September 3rd – presumably for the robbery(?)

    DEFENDANT #6

    DESCRIPTION: 16-year-old black male

    FACING CHARGE(S) OF: malicious wounding by mob for his role in attack #4 (the second incident on 01/12/02)

    ADJUDICATION: (04/09/02) plea bargain: defendant admitted guilt on the charge of malicious wounding; in return, the charge will be reduced to assault and battery after the successful completion of one year’s probation (the terms of which are unknown).

    PENALTY: Time served (=two weeks to two and a half weeks) if one-year probation is successfully completed; if not, who knows (but I would suppose the felony charge of malicious wounding would be reinstated, and the case would proceed with the defendant’s admission of guilt already in hand); payment of restitution for victims’ medical costs; and cooperation in the prosecution of others.

    DEFENDANT #7

    DESCRIPTION: white female juvenile (age not reported)

    FACING CHARGE(S) OF: ?? Assistant prosecutor Elizabeth Killeen explained that the defendant drove two acquaintances from the scene of an attack on Jan. 18 (attack# 5). The teen had watched a male acquaintance knock down a woman, then saw a female acquaintance return to the car with the woman’s purse. The defendant’s defense attorney, Dan Atkins, said she was involved in only one incident

    ADJUDICATION: (04/09/02) plea bargain; pleaded guilty to accessory to a robbery after the fact.

    PENALTY: probation; her conviction will be dropped in one year if she complies with all the terms of her probation.

    DEFENDANT #8

    DESCRIPTION: 16-year-old black male

    FACING CHARGE(S) OF: malicious wounding by mob for his role in attack #4 (the second incident on 01/12/02)

    ADJUDICATION: (04/09/02) plea bargain: defendant admitted guilt on the charge of malicious wounding; in return, the charge will be reduced to assault and battery after the successful completion of one year’s probation (the terms of which are unknown).

    PENALTY: Time served (=two weeks to two and a half weeks) if one-year probation is successfully completed; if not, who knows (but I would suppose the felony charge of malicious wounding would be reinstated, and the case would proceed with the defendant’s admission of guilt already in hand); payment of restitution for victims’ medical costs; and cooperation in the prosecution of others.

    DEFENDANT #9

    DESCRIPTION: black juvenile

    FACING CHARGES OF: ??

    ADJUDICATION: Commonwealth’s Attorney reported one defendant will be tried “next week”.

    DEFENDANT #10

    DESCRIPTION: black juvenile

    FACING CHARGES OF: ??

    ADJUDICATION:

    And I think there is a DEFENDANT #11, who is another black juvenile. We read that six persons pleaded guilty to charges yesterday, which wouldn’t therefore include DEFENDANT #2, who entered no such plea. That leaves three attackers to be tried, as reported in the Times-Dispatch, unless one or more of the attackers is facing more than one trial.

    I welcome any and all additions, criticisms, suggested changes, different inferences from published reports, etc.

  • any guesses why the Daily Progress didn’t mention the cell-phone calls that were used to plan the attacks, or the tape that was replayed for laughs at CHS?

    Blame it on the Progress editor(s), because he/she/ they either:

    — put the put the wrong reporter on the wrong story. Dadurka is new to the Progress, right? He’s a former Cav Daily (occasional) arts reporter turned wholesale industry hack , and so was perhaps unqualified to report well on a crime story (umm, where were Schwisow, Williams, or, even, Mooney?).

    — or the editor(s) excised important bits of information from the story Dadurka handed in.

    We know that the Progress reporters are in conflict with their editors on how to handle these stories, so perhaps that’s why they assigned the Tuesday’s courtroom reporting to whom they did, and/or why they edited it so.

    But, in the round-up of yesterday’s press, the Progress article was clearly the worst (in my humble opinion).

  • As a lurker on this board I just want to say thanks to belle for getting information that I don’t see anywhere else. It hard work to keep the record straight. KUDOS!

  • I just want to say thanks to belle for getting information that I don’t see anywhere else.

    Indeed, Belle’s ability to track and aggregate data is truly impressive, and a strong asset to the site.

  • One of the things from the recent court news which intrigues me is the sudden appearance of DEFEENDANT #7 (the white female juvenile).

    When the police began their investigation and started to interview CHS students (from Feb. 1), they focused on identifying those who had “threw the blows”; they arrested nine suspects. Then Commonwealth’s Attorney took over the cases and, in similar fashion, made those who were physically involved in doing violence; they charged nine persons.

    This was the situation at least through March 28 (when Gordon Fields was tried); the next day’s Daily Progress report (March 29) on his trial explained that neither of the two white females who chauffeured the attackers on some occasion(s) had been arrested. Rev. Alvin Edwards (former mayor; former local Democratic Party chair; organizer of the “community committees” of boosters for the accused) explained after Fields’s sentencing that “[y]ou’ll always have racial tension when you have Caucasians who were involved who weren’t charged.” A few days later, on April 1, Bob Gibson reported in the Daily Progress that these white girls were not free from prosecution – because they could yet be charged.

    Sometime between April 1 and April 9 (the trial date) DEFENDANT #7 was arrested and charged (with some crime greater than accessory after the fact to robbery).

    This makes me wonder:

    1) were the newspapers incorrect, or the City duplicitous in its public statements? That is, had DEFENDANT #7 been arrested and charged before April 1? If she had been, why didn’t the City PD or Commonwealth’s Attorney reveal this? (Or had they included her in the 10 persons they once said they had charged, before they reversed themselves, admitting egregious error, and said 9 persons were charged?).

    2) If she was arrested and charged after April 1, then why then? What had changed? Certainly it couldn’t have been Fields’s conviction for his role in attack #6 and (forced) availability to testify against others, as he wasn’t present at attack#5, the only incident where the girl (DEFENDANT #7) was present. Rather, was it political pressure generated by Edwards’s polite version of the “no justice, no peace” chant?

    3) Are other kids (reportedly numbering another ten or so)who were involved in the attacks but did not land blows now vulnerable to prosecution? For what?

  • “Belle,” perhaps I should stop by the 7-11 someday and complain that the Slurpee you’ve served me is too chunky. The experience might provide a bit of perspective that you seem to be lacking.

    Please. You’re making yourself look more and more nuts every day with these conspiracy theories. It’s time to find a new hobby.

  • Too bad about the attitude problem, though, eh?

  • awww girl you didn’t!!!! you didn’t!!!!

    [sound of high-five being slapt]

  • Here are a few links to related pages on Loper’s website.

    The concerns of Downing Smith (a politically active local) about Edward’s statement can be seen on this page.

    Lloyd Snook’s comments on Edward’s statement and the white female recently convicted are on this page

    Gordon Fields’s apology is at the bottom of this page. (I think it is quite a good statement of remorse.)

  • Hey Waldo, I thought you’d crack down on ad hominem attacks like these.

    This message isn’t critiquing or debating her content. It’s purely a personal attack.

  • Hey Waldo, I thought you’d crack down on ad hominem attacks like these. This message isn’t critiquing or debating her content. It’s purely a personal attack.

    Well, it seems chivalry isn’t dead after all. In any case, an ad hominem from an Anonymous Coward doesn’t bother me in the least.

    (P.S. Some of the thugs — two or is it three? — are in court today, right?)

  • I saw the two thugs in court today, Vernon Howard and Candace Merrick.They were responsible for the Jan. 18 attack. I only stayed long enough to hear Vernon Howards case. He is going to ondergo a psychological evaluation and I think he will have to return to court on June 4th for sentencing. Candace Merrick (sp?) was also in court. She was standing in front of the judge along with some supporters including Alvin Edwards, when I walked out . Incidentally, the victim of the Jan. 18 attack was not a UVa student. She is a small person who wouldn’t hurt anyone. Vernon Howard, who needs both punishment and counseling, is about 6′ 2″ and about 200 pounds. He held her while Merrick punched her in the face. They grabbed her purse and threw her to the ground and ran off to the get away car waiting around the corner. I don’t know about Merrick but Howard was party to at least one other attack.

    Anonymous Coward

    It was shocking to hear the Commonwealth’s Attorney describe the premeditation and brutality involved in the attacks. While the thugs drove into town from an away football game at WAHS Howard was getting very agitated and proclaiming loudly his desire to beat up women. On at least one occasion the thugs were patrolling in two seperate vehicles and were staying in touch by cell phone as they looked for victims as well as the police and potential witnesses. One attack was called off because the situation was “too hot”.

  • The game at WAHS was a basketball game not a football game.

  • Anonymous Coward

    Nothing cowardly about posting all of that volatile information.

  • While the thugs drove into town from an away football game at WAHS Howard was getting very agitated and proclaiming loudly his desire to beat up women.

    So — not a black-on-white hate crime, but a (black) male-on-(white) female hate crime.

    If Anonymous’ report is true, we citizens can rest easier tonight, knowing justice has been done.

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