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News in Brief

Lawyers seek restraining order to delay execution

(AP) Lawyers for a condemned Virginia inmate have filed an emergency motion for a restraining order to stay the execution, which is scheduled for next month. Court documents show that attorneys for Ricky Gray filed motions for a temporary restraining ...

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Heroin dealer gets 8 years after being linked to 6 overdoses

NORFOLK (AP) A Norfolk man has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison for conspiring to distribute heroin that was linked to six overdoses. The local U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement that 33-year-old Lamar Sinclair was ...

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Police social media rules deemed unconstitutional

PETERSBURG (AP) A federal appeals court says a Virginia police department’s policy barring employees from criticizing the department on social media is unconstitutional. The 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Thursday that the Petersburg Police Department’s social media policy ...

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DuPont to pay $50M over mercury-contaminated Virginia rivers

(AP) Chemical giant DuPont will pay more than $50 million but admit no fault under a proposed environmental settlement after releasing toxic mercury for decades that made its way into Shenandoah Valley waterways, state and federal officials announced Thursday. The ...

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Judge dismisses 6 of 7 felonies against lawmaker Rick Morris

SUFFOLK (AP) A judge has dismissed six of seven felony charges against  Del. Rick Morris, finding prosecutors have enough evidence to move forward on only one count. At a hearing Thursday that reporters were barred from attending, Judge Robert S. ...

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Pay for judges in Virginia ranks high nationally (access required)

Salaries for judges across the commonwealth rank closer to the top when compared with other states, according to a survey released by the National Center for State Courts. State supreme court justices make $192,458, an increase of $3,509 from the ...

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Prosecutors drop case against 2 members of ‘Norfolk Four’

NORFOLK (AP) Prosecutors won’t pursue another case against two former sailors whose rape and murder convictions were thrown out by a federal judge in October. Attorney Don Salzman said the charges against Danial Williams and Joseph Dick were formally dropped ...

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Inmate protests use of execution drugs

(AP) A Virginia inmate asked a federal court Wednesday to block the state’s plans to execute him next month with lethal injection drugs from a secret compounding pharmacy, suggesting even a firing squad would be more humane. Attorneys for Ricky ...

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Barber school owner pleads guilty to GI Bill scam

CHESAPEAKE (AP) The owner of a barber school has pleaded guilty to a scam that used $4.5 million in GI Bill tuition payments. The U.S. attorney’s office for the Eastern District of Virginia said Wednesday that Katherine Grobes claimed to ...

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Lawyers oppose Gray execution

(AP) Lawyers for death row inmate Ricky Gray will ask Gov. Terry McAuliffe to commute Gray’s sentence to life in prison. The Virginian-Pilot reports  that Gray is scheduled to be executed Jan. 18 for the 2006 slaying of a Richmond ...

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