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News in Brief

Couric cleared of defamation claim (access required)

A Virginia federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit that accused broadcaster Katie Couric of defaming members of a Virginia gun club in a documentary video. The Virginia Citizens Defense League sued in 2016 after it was revealed that the director ...

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Federal judge declines to reconsider license suspension suit

LYNCHBURG (AP) A federal judge has decided not to reconsider a class-action lawsuit filed against the commissioner of Virginia’s Department of Motor Vehicles aimed at reforming the use of license suspensions to enforce court fines. Judge Norman Moon is standing ...

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Probate problems lead to disbarment of Arlington lawyer (access required)

An Arlington lawyer has agreed to give up his law license following a Virginia State Bar investigation into his handling of a probate estate in Prince William County. While serving as executor, William P. Wittig allegedly failed to file a ...

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Judges block special grand jury in inmate’s death

PORTSMOUTH (AP) Three Portsmouth circuit judges have denied a prosecutor’s request for a special grand jury to investigate the death of a jail inmate. Commonwealth’s Attorney Stephanie Morales filed a motion Wednesday seeking a special grand jury in the death ...

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Judge tosses life sentences for DC sniper Malvo

McLEAN (AP) A federal judge on Friday tossed out two life sentences for sniper Lee Boyd Malvo, one of Virginia’s most notorious criminals, and ordered Virginia courts to hold new sentencing hearings. In his 25-page ruling, U.S. District Judge Raymond ...

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Virginia studies DNA database expansion

(AP) Virginia officials are studying a DNA database expansion to include more people convicted of misdemeanors. Supporters expect a larger database to help solve more crimes, but opponents say an expansion raises cost and privacy concerns, the Richmond Times-Dispatch reports. ...

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McAuliffe promotes new law to maintain historic black graves

(AP) Gov. Terry McAuliffe is promoting a new law requiring the state to maintain and preserve historic black cemeteries at a level similar to what the state has done for Confederate soldiers. McAuliffe celebrated the new law May 17 on ...

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Woman arrested in bomb scare says object was an alarm clock

(AP) A Richmond woman accused of having a fake explosive device that set off a bomb scare in a grocery store parking lot says the object was a novelty alarm clock she bought at a garage sale. Daphne Page was ...

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Cops cleared in shooting of 18-year-old brandishing BB gun

MANASSAS (AP) A prosecutor has ruled that police officers were justified in shooting an 18-year-old man who brandished a BB gun. Commonwealth’s Attorney Paul Ebert said the two Manassas officers who shot Luis Torres-Molina of Woodbridge reasonably feared for their ...

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Warrenton attorney suspends law practice (access required)

A Warrenton lawyer convicted of sexual battery in January has agreed to have his law license suspended on the basis of impairment. The indefinite suspension of Jud A. Fischel was effective May 15 under an order from the Virginia State ...

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