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News in Brief

Proposed constitutional amendment would change redistricting

FALLS CHURCH (AP) An independent commission rather than the General Assembly would redraw Virginia’s state legislative districts after the 2020 census under a constitutional amendment proposed by a nonpartisan group. OneVirginia2021 is opposed to what it considers the gerrymandering that ...

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Key trial issue: Why did driver plow into counterprotesters?

CHARLOTTESVILLE (AP) No one disputes James Alex Fields Jr. plowed his car into a crowd of counterprotesters at a white nationalist rally in Virginia last year, killing a woman and injuring dozens more. The only question, jurors were told Thursday, ...

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Ciolfi to head legal aid office (access required)

Angela Ciolfi has been selected as the new executive director for the Charlottesville-based Legal Aid Justice Center. Ciolfi succeeds Mary Bauer, who served in that role from 2013 to 2018. Ciolfi began working at LAJC in 2004 as a Powell ...

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Huguely lawsuit retooled, refiled (access required)

The family of slain University of Virginia student Yeardley Love has refiled its claims against George W. Huguely V, the fellow UVa student convicted of second-degree murder in Love’s 2010 death. The new lawsuit in Charlottesville Circuit Court appears to ...

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Guilty plea in Muslim teen’s death; will carry life sentence

FAIRFAX (AP) A Northern Virginia man has pleaded guilty to raping and killing a Muslim teenager last year in a case that drew national attention for its brutality on a young victim who had been walking with friends to early-morning ...

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Ex-judge gets 9-month bar suspension (access required)

Former Bristol Judge Kurt J. Pomrenke has agreed to a nine-month bar suspension based on the same conduct that brought his removal from the bench and a contempt of court conviction. Pomrenke appeared before a five-member panel of the Virginia ...

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Ex-Virginia Tech student gets 40 years in girl’s slaying

CHRISTIANSBURG (AP) A former Virginia Tech student who helped dump the body of a slain 13-year-old girl has been sentenced to 40 years in prison. Natalie Keepers, of Laurel, Maryland, was convicted in September of being an accessory before the ...

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Appeals court overturns death sentence

(AP) The death sentence of a Virginia man convicted of raping and beating a woman to death in 2008 has been overturned by a federal appeals court. Mark Lawlor was convicted of capital murder and sentenced to death in the ...

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Retired firefighter alleges discrimination because he’s gay

NORFOLK (AP) A former firefighter claims the city of Norfolk discriminated against him because he’s gay. The Virginian-Pilot reported that 55-year-old Scott Phillips-Gartner is suing the city for allegedly creating a hostile work environment. He claims he was forced to retire and ...

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Jury selection continuing slowly in white nationalist trial

CHARLOTTESVILLE (AP) Jury selection was continuing at a slow pace Nov. 27 in the trial of an Ohio man accused of killing a woman during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville last year. James Alex Fields Jr. is charged with ...

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