Mur­der, child porn, DWI charges to grand jury

Rappahannock News - - FRONT PAGE - BY PATTY HARDEE

Three peo­ple were in­dicted on 14 charges by a grand jury in Rap­pa­han­nock County Cir­cuit Court this past Monday, Jan. 8.

For­rest Clark Rich­mond, 26, of Amissville was in­dicted on 12 charges of pos­ses­sion of child pornog­ra­phy, eleven of which are for two or more of­fenses.

Ac­cord­ing to the crim­i­nal com­plaint, dur­ing a search of his home on Nov. 3, 2017, Rich­mond told in­ves­ti­ga­tors that he had child pornog­ra­phy on a com­puter drive. Dur­ing a search of the drive, “at least 12 video files were re­cov­ered that clearly de­pict girls (pre­pubescent) en­gaged in sex acts,” reads the com­plaint.

All 12 charges are felonies. Ac­cord­ing to Vir­ginia’s sen­tenc­ing guide­lines, the first charge car­ries a po­ten­tial sen-

tence of up to five years; the sub­se­quent 11 charges carry po­ten­tial sen­tences of up to 10 years each.

Com­mon­wealth's At­tor­ney Artt Goff con­firmed in an email Wed­nes­day that Rich­mond “is in cus­tody with­out bail at this time. His case will be on the docket in the up­com­ing months for fur­ther dis­po­si­tion.” The next date is Fe­bru­ary 15 in Cir­cuit Court.

Mean­while, Randy Lynn Smoot, 47, of Flint Hill, was in­dicted on a charge of first­de­gree mur­der in con­nec­tion with the death of Jonas “Jay” Alther of Wash­ing­ton.

In a court fil­ing seek­ing Smoot’s re­lease on bail, his at­tor­ney, Mark Wil­liams, sum­ma­rized the de­tails of the case.

“[I]t ap­pears that on Oc­to­ber 19, 2017, Mr. Smoot was a pas­sen­ger in a ve­hi­cle trav­el­ing on Har­ris Hol­low Road to­wards the di­rec­tion of Wash­ing­ton, Vir­ginia,” reads the filed doc­u­ment. “As the ve­hi­cle ap­proached Mr. Jonas Alther’s prop­erty… Mr. Alther and Mr. Smoot be­gan ex­chang­ing in­sults. The argument turned phys­i­cal and Mr. Alther suf­fered a head in­jury.”

Smoot was re­leased on bail on Dec. 7. Bond was set at $100,000 in cash or $200,000 se­cured by real prop­erty. He was or­dered to re­side with his mother, re­frain from us­ing al­co­hol or il­le­gal sub­stances, and wear a con­tin­u­ous al­co­hol mon­i­tor­ing de­vice, among the con­di­tions of his re­lease.

His case is on the March 12 cir­cuit court docket for fur­ther dis­po­si­tion.

In an­other case, Jay Louis Ed­wards, 51, of Amissville was in­dicted on a third DWI, a felony. On Sept. 5, 2017, Ed­wards was ar­rested by Rap­pa­han­nock County Sher­iff’s Deputy C. M. Gar­cia af­ter the deputy dis­cov­ered mar­i­juana and Xanax in Ed­wards’ ve­hi­cle.

He was also charged with sev­eral mis­de­meanors for which he was found guilty on Dec. 5: Vi­o­lat­ing pro­ba­tion stem­ming from a previous charge, op­er­at­ing on a re­voked or sus­pended li­cense, and pos­ses­sion of mar­i­juana. Ad­di­tional charges of pos­ses­sion of controlled sub­stances and a sec­ond in­ci­dent of driv­ing on a sus­pended li­cense were dropped.

Ed­wards’ felony charge is on the Feb. 16 cir­cuit court docket for fur­ther dis­po­si­tion.

AS­SAULT, DEFAMA­TION

At­tor­neys for Wash­ing­ton res­i­dents Heidi Lesin­ski and Ed­mund Ka­vanagh met be­fore Rap­pa­han­nock County Cir­cuit Court Judge Jef­frey W. Parker on Monday to set a trial date for a jury to hear claims and ac­cu­sa­tions from both sides.

This will be the sec­ond time Lesin­ski, 50, and Ka­vanagh, 84, will meet in court over a case stem­ming from a charge Ka­vanagh made in Fe­bru­ary that Lesin­ski had as­saulted him in her home.

Af­ter a two-and-a-half hour bench trial in Dis­trict Court last May, Judge J. Gre­gory Ash­well ruled that in­con­sis­ten­cies in wit­ness tes­ti­mony cre­ated enough rea­son­able doubt as to the ac­tual cir­cum­stances sur­round­ing the charge.

Lesin­ski then sued Ka­vanagh in Oc­to­ber, charg­ing him with ma­li­cious pros­e­cu­tion and defama­tion. In Novem­ber, Ka­vanagh filed a coun­ter­claim charg­ing two crim­i­nal counts of as­sault. (Later, Ka­vanagh’s at­tor­ney Nikki Mar­shall filed a mo­tion claim­ing a “scrivener’s er­ror” and cor­rected one of the charges to In­ten­tional In­flic­tion of Emo­tional Dis­tress).

Both Lesin­ski and Ka­vanagh are re­quest­ing dam­ages and at­tor­neys’ fees to­tal­ing about $200,000.

The trial date was set for Sept. 21 and is ex­pected to take two days.

In addition, Parker an­nounced that he would re­cuse him­self from the trial. He did not give a rea­son in court for his re­cusal. A deputy clerk in Fauquier County Cir­cuit Court re­fused to ask Parker his rea­son for the record, say­ing “the judge does not make state­ments to the press.”

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