The Virginia State Police have released the following statement:
"For the past five years, the Virginia State Police has been aggressively pursuing the investigation into the disappearance and death of 20-year-old Morgan D. Harrington of Roanoke, Va. Last week, the arrest of Jesse L. Matthew Jr., 32, of Charlottesville, Va., provided a significant break in this case with a new forensic link for state police investigators to pursue. There is a still a great deal of work to be done in regards to this investigation and we appreciate the public’s patience as we move forward.
Anyone with new information concerning the Harrington investigation is encouraged to contact the Virginia State Police at 434-352-3467 or the Jefferson Area Crime Stoppers at 434-977-4000.
Meanwhile, state police continues to dedicate the necessary resources to assist the Charlottesville Police Department through the course of its investigation and with their efforts to locate Hannah Graham. In fact, right now, the public’s focus needs to remain on helping Charlottesville Police locate and bring Hannah Graham home."
A Loudoun County Sheriff's Office sergeant mistakenly shot and injured his daughter at their Frederick County, Va., home around 3:30 a.m. Tuesday.
The shooter, Sgt. Easton McDonald believed his 16-year-old daughter to be an intruder, according to a Frederick County Sheriff's Office captain.
The daughter was in stable condition as of Wednesday afternoon, the Frederick captain, Donnie Lang, said.
“Sgt. Easton McDonald was involved in an incident in Frederick County, but, as this is an ongoing and active investigation by the Frederick County Sheriff’s Office, we cannot comment further,” a Loudoun County Sheriff's Office spokesman told the Times-Mirror Thursday. “He is currently on administrative leave pending an internal LCSO investigation.”
Lang told WHAG news out of Hagerstown, Md., which first reported the story, "It was determined that the daughter had snuck out hours earlier that morning, and was attempting to sneak back into the home" when she was shot. McDonald was reportedly getting ready for work as the daughter returned home.
After realizing he'd shot his daughter in the torso, McDonald attempted to transport her to the Winchester Medical Center, but crashed his car en route. Emergency personnel eventually took the daughter to the hospital, where she remained Thursday.
Lang told the Times-Mirror his office will be conducting an investigation of the incident into next week, at which point it will turn over the findings to the Frederick County Commonwealth's Attorney Office. It will be up to the commonwealth's attorney office to determine if charges will be filed, Lang said.
This story has been updated from an earlier version.
Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals in Virginia Walter S. Felton has affirmed the August 2013 conviction of Loudoun woman Dre Martina Roberts for hindering a law enforcement officer in the performance of his duties.
The case stemmed from a domestic violence complaint in Sterling in February 2013.
According to the Loudoun Commonwealth's Attorney Office, deputies responded to Roberts' Sterling residence to investigate a complaint of domestic violence. Once the officers arrived, Roberts refused to provide deputies with identification and shouted obscenities at them, demanding they get out of her house. When deputies asked Roberts to confirm she understood what they were asking by providing a yes or no answer, Roberts just responded “yes or no answer.”
She was subsequently placed under arrest for hindering a law enforcement officer in the performance of his duties, a violation of Loudoun County Ordinance 654.09.
An attorney for Roberts filed an appeal with the Court of Appeals of Virginia challenging Roberts’ criminal conviction. The attorney asserted the county ordinance does not define “hinder.” Attorneys for Roberts further argued that a suspect who fails to cooperate fully with a law enforcement officer or behaves in a way that makes the officer’s task more difficult does not hinder that officer from performing the task.
How hindering should be construed and the sufficiency of the evidence regarding whether Roberts’ conduct constituted hindering were the primary topics of oral arguments, according to the commonwealth's attorney office.
"The trial court found that appellant hindered Deputy Van Brocklin’s investigation of a domestic assault complaint by engaging in a continuing course of conduct that included: ordering him to leave the home, refusing to provide her state-issued identification to him, and providing nonresponsive answers or refusing to acknowledge his inquiries," the judge's opinion states. "The trial court stated, 'When you are required to investigate a domestic dispute, identification is crucial. Refusing to answer the questions, refusing to identify yourself, and telling somebody ... get out of my house with an attitude is clearly hindering that investigation.”
Commented Loudoun Commonwealth's Attorney Jim Plowman (R) in a prepared statement, “This is not only a significant win for Loudoun County, but for all local jurisdictions that wish to tighten the laws to prevent people from interfering in a law enforcement investigation. Further, it reinforces the position that local jurisdictions will take the necessary steps to aide and protect those that help keep our communities safe.”
The affirmation of the conviction means that Roberts must pay the $2,500 fine imposed by Judge Benjamin N. A. Kendrick on Aug. 1, 2013, along with any court costs associated with the case unless further appealed to the Virginia Supreme Court. The decision also means that Roberts’ conviction will remain on her criminal record and that the validity of the Loudoun County Ordinance is supported as it relates to the specific issues presented.