Seven years ago Tommy David Strickler was sentenced to die for killing a
James Madison University student.
Yesterday a federal judge granted him a new trial.
SUPER=03-Augusta Co./File Tape;
Strickler was convicted of the murder, abduction and robbery of
Roanoke resident Leanne Whitlock, who was taken from a shopping mall parking
lot in January 19-90.
Her nude body was found about a week later.
Strickler was convicted of bashing her head with a 70-pound rock.
U-S District Judge Robert Merhige ("MARRIAGE") said prosecutors withheld key
information from Strickler's defense lawyers.
The Attorney General's office is appealing the ruling.
TAPE#net (edit of 97-75)
A phone call alerted Whitlock family members to the possibility of a new
They say they were caught off guard.
Andrew Freiden has the story.
IN Q=It's not too
SUPER=01-Edward Whitlock/Victim's Father; :00
SUPER=01-Esther Whitlock/Victim's Mother; :23
OUT Q=AF, N7, Roanoke
((EDWARD WHITLOCK: IT'S NOT TOO PLEASANT, I CAN TELL YOU THAT. IT'S RIGHT
The Whitlocks say they've been trying to put their daughter's death behind
them and continue with their lives.
It's been more than seven years since the trial--
And the prospect of reliving it all over again is almost too much to bear.
((ESTHER WHITLOCK: IT WAS VERY TOUGH, IT TOOK IT'S TOLL ON BOTH OF US, TO HEAR
THE EVIDENCE AS IT WAS PRESENTED THEN. AND WE FELT THE VERDICT WAS JUST, AND
WE WERE PLEASED WITH IT. AND WE LEARNED TO LIVE WITH IT-- WE CAN'T CHANGE THE
RESULTS. WE CAN'T BRING OUR DAUGHTER BACK. ))
AF, N7, Roanoke))
The Whitlocks say the evidence was all presented in the original trial, so
they're hoping the attorney general's office is able to overturn yesterday's
ruling, and keep Tommy Strickler on death row.
A suspect's right to a speedy trial came between Giles County prosecutor
Garland Spangler and a rape case the first time.
Now he wants to try Cory Kast again.
The original charges were dropped over the summer after Spangler failed to
prosecute the case in a timely fashion.
Now Spangler is trying to bring the case back to court.
He recently obtained direct indictments against Kast on five NEW charges--
including robbery and abduction.
The alleged victim is cautiously optimistic.
Renee Trump spoke to NEWS 7, by phone, from her West Virginia home.
IN Q=Even though
((RENEE TRUMP/RAPE VICTIM:EVEN THOUGH THAT, GARLAND SPANGLER DIDN'T DO HIS JOB
AND EVERYTHING, I STILL THINK SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE. ))
SUPER=02-Renee Trump/Rape Victim; :00
OUT Q=to be done.
There's a chance the new indictments won't stick-- because the law prohibits
a defendant from being tried twice for the same crime.
A Blacksburg police officer acted reasonably when he fired at a plain
clothes officer during a homicide investigation outside a downtown night spot.
That's according to police Chief Bill Brown who says the uniformed officer
believed he was in imminent danger when he fired.
The incident happened while officers were searching for suspects shortly
after a man was shot and killed inside Arnolds Restaurant.
Brown says the plain clothes officer had his weapon drawn and pointed in the
direction of the uniformed officer.
The non-uniformed officer was not struck.
Two men are hospitalized after a head-on collision early this morning.
Police say Harry Lilly of Danville was driving southbound on Mount Cross
Road when he crossed into the oncoming lane and hit a milk truck head-on.
Rescue workers spent almost two hours trying to free Lilly.
The driver of the truck, 35- year- old Timothy (Herp) Hearp of Danville is
in stable condition.
Lilly was flown to Duke Hospital and is in the operating room in critical
TAPE#net (edit of 97-58)
Virginia's two main candidates for Governor seem to be having some trouble
nailing down their stance on some issues.
Jim Gilmore and Don Beyer met yesterday in their final debate.
Ellen Qualls reports.
IN Q=20 hours
OUT Q=Qualls, News 7, Mclean.
(( 20 hours is a lifetime in gubernatorial politics.
At 6pm Tuesday, this aired on TV.
((JIM GILMORE/R-CANDIDATE FOR GOVERNOR: I THINK A SPOUSAL NOTIFICATION WOULD
BE SOMETHING THAT WE COULD REQUIRE SERIOUS CONSIDERATION.))
Then 20 hours later:
((JIM GILMORE: NO I DON'T SUPPORT IT. I DON'T SUPPORT A SPOUSAL NOTIFICATION
BILL... BUT IT DOESN'T MATTER WHAT I THINK FRANKLY.))
The bad news for Virginia's former attorney general -- the abortion measure
was ruled UNconstitutional five years ago.
((JIM GILMORE: BUT THE FACT OF THE MATTER IS I DID CONSIDER IT. AFTER THAT
INTERVIEW I WENT BACK AND READ THE CASEY DECISION OVER AGAIN. AND THE FACT IS
IT'S ABSOLUTELY UNCONSTITUTIONAL SO IT'S REALLY NOT AN ISSUE.))
((DON BEYER: ONE SUPREME COURT VOTE CHANGES, AND ALL OF A SUDDEN THE THINGS
JIM WANTS TO DO BECOME PERMISSIBLE.))
But Gilmore wasn't the only one with a weak spot.
Beyer said this week he would favor allowing local or regional politicians
to raise their own taxes.
((DON BEYER: IF IT IS THE WILL OF THIS REGION TO BAND TOGETHER WITH LOCAL
GOVERNMENTS TO MAKE THINGS HAPPEN, THEN I WILL NOT STAND IN THE WAY.))
((JIM GILMORE: THE ANSWER IS NO. WITH RESPECT TO ADDITIONAL REFERENDUMS TO
RAISE TAXES. BUT LET ME ALSO POINT OUT THAT THERE'S A HAUNTING PHRASE THAT'S
OUT THERE "BUILDING THE POLITICAL WILL.))
((THIS IS THE LAST SCHEDULED DEBATE FOR THESE TWO. IT WILL NOT BE SEEN EXCEPT
IN EXCERPTS OUTSIDE NORTHERN VIRGINIA. ELLEN QUALLS, NEWS 7, MCLEAN.))
The man who until recently held the top enlisted post in the U-S Army was
arraigned today on Sexual Misconduct charges.
Gene Mckinney's court martial date was set for January 6th.
Six woman are accusing McKinney of sexual harassment.
He faces a total of 20 charges.
At his arraignment today, Mckinney requested a trial by a military jury that
includes two-thirds enlisted members.
The body guard who survived the crash that killed Princess Diana reportedly
has filed a lawsuit over the accident.
Under French law that means Trevor Rees-Jones could seek damages from
whomever is ultimately found responsible for the crash.
The move also means Rees-Jones could no longer be questioned by crash
investigators unless his lawyer is present.
So far, no one had been charged in the crash, but prosecutors are
investigating several theories.
Today marks the second anniversary of the Million Man March in Washington
Controversial Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan has asked black
Americans to remember it by staying home from work and school.
((FARRAKHAN:WE TODAY, ARE BEING ASKED TO OBSERVE A TIME OF ATONEMENT AND TO
CALL THIS NATION TO REPENTANCE H WE WILL FAST, NO FOOD, NO WATER, WE WILL
PRAY. NO WORK, NO SCHOOL, NO PLAYING OF GAMES OF CHANCE, NO DRINKING, NO
SMOKING, NOTHING THAT IS CONSIDERED A SIN... ))
SUPER=01-Louis Farrakhan/Nation of Islam Leader;
OUT Q=that is considered a sin.
Farrakhan says more than 100 cities will have events marking the day.
President Clinton is honoring Argentina for its dedication to peace- keeping
around the world.
Beginning a long day of meetings and ceremonies in Buenos Aires, Mr. Clinton
laid a wreath at a statue of General Jose de San Martin (hoh-ZAY' day san
mahr-TEEN'), the great Argentine independence hero.
Mr. Clinton thanked Argentines for serving in some 16 peace-keeping missions
-- from Haiti to Bosnia.
Later today, the President will answer questions at a televised town
hall meeting that will be broadcast throughout the hemisphere.
A racially offensive E-mail message is drawing criticism from Virginia Tech
President Paul Torgersen.
The E-mail was circulated by a fraternity student to other members of the
A black fraternity member who got the message complained to professors, and
eventually about 100 black students saw the posting.
Torgersen's open letter to the university on the subject asked for a
commitment to a diverse campus community.
Satellite and movie systems of the future were among the numerous gadgets on
Audiotronics paired with Sony to hold a few informal presentations at their
store-- giving some a behind-the-scenes look at soon-to-exist audio and video
Sony spokesman Sean Blake says industry buzzwords such as D-V-D, D-S-S, and
Web-TV can be confusing.
IN Q= Web TV
((SEAN BLAKE/SONY CORP.: WEB TV IS A DEVICE THAT ALLOWS YOU TO SURF THE
INTERNET THROUGH YOUR TV SET. DVD WHICH HAS BEEN KNOWN AS DIGITAL VIDEO DISK,
OR DIGITAL VERSATILE DISK, DEPENDING ON WHICH CAMP YOU'RE IN. UM, THEY'RE ALL
HOME ENTERTAINMENT PRODUCTS. WAYS OF RECORDING INFORMATION DIGITALLY, OR
PLAYING BACK FOR YOUR ENTERTAINMENT ENJOYMENT.))
SUPER=01-Sean Blake/Sony Corp.; :
OUT Q= your entertainment enjoyment.
In the near future, Blake predicts everything from TV to photographs will
have an all-digital format.
Martinsville Hospital is planning a new Breast Care Center that may make
things easier for breast cancer patients in the Martinsville area. They
seek treatment away from home.
The hospital director says women will no longer have to wait weeks for
appointments, treatment or test results.
Currently, women must leave town to find the latest breast cancer
IN Q=There are 83 people
((ELIZABETH HASKELL/CITY COUNCIL: THERE ARE 83 PEOPLE IN MARTINSVILLE AND HENRY
COUNTY THAT WILL BE DIAGNOSED WITH BREAST CANCER THIS YEAR. WHO KNOWS HOW MANY
MORE ARE OUT THERE THAT JUST HAVEN'T HAD THEIR MAMMOGRAM? SO WHAT'S REALLY
IMPORTANT IS THAT WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO EARLY IDENTIFY ANYBODY THAT IS A
POTENTIAL VICTIM OF THIS AND FOLLOW THEM TO RECOVERY.))
SUPER=01-Elizabeth Haskell/City Council;
OUT Q=to recovery
The hospital is not even halfway toward its fundraising goal of three
million dollars --still it hopes to open the breast cancer center by next June.
TAPE#net (edit of 03:43:48)
A man in Texas has brought his hobby into the competitive spotlight with his
Todd Blose is among the top 20 radio controlled miniature airplane pilots in
He practices his skills faithfully everyday.
He does vertical tumbles, flat spins and slow rolls.
IN Q="Well the controls
OUT Q=would be using."
He will be putting his flying skills to the test next week when he competes
against the best in the world in the Tournament of Champions Invitational in
And Blose hopes his twenty years of practice will make perfect at the
Tournament of Champions.
Some Roanoke City high schools are making a name for themselves in sports
Both William Fleming and Patrick Henry High School football teams are
Kimberly McBroom tells us that financial problems may overshadow the high
school victories on the gridiron. ANCHOR=Kimberly
That's right, Melanie.
Even though both William Fleming and Patrick Henry are playing extremely
well this year, there is a combined 84- thousand dollar deficit in the schools'
3-Shot-Kimberly and guests
Joining me now to talk about more about the situation is Southern Christian
Leadership Conference member Jeff ARtis and Roanoke city council member Nelson
SUPER=01-Jeff Artis/Southern Christian Leadership Conf.;
SUPER=01-Rev. Nelson Harris/Roanoke City Council;
Mr. Artis, you've expressed some concerns about the Superintendent's
proposal to cut some teams from the athletic program to help make up this
Council man Nelson Harris is a former member of the city school board.
Thanks for joining me.
Mr. Harris, the school superintendent is considering cutting some teams.
You dealt with budget problems when you served on the school board. Do you
think it will come to this?
RUNS=:50-don't use all
2-shot=Melanie and Patrick
SUPER=333-Variable/Clouds/43-46/Light Rain/or Drizzle/54-58;
SUPER=334-Turning/Mostly Cloudy/38-42/Cloudy/Rain Possible/53-56;
If you're on Social Security, your
cost-of-living adjustment next year won't amount to much.
The Social Security Administration says the 44 million Americans receiving
benefits will see their checks grow by only two- point- one percent -- the
lowest increase in a decade.
The adjustment has been automatic since 19-75.
It's based on changes in the Consumer Price Index.
The World Series ticket has been decided. The Marlins will meet the Indians.
A day after the Marlins disposed of Atlanta, Cleveland did the same to
SUPER=03-Baltimore, MD/Fox-MLB; :00
Here's the only run of the game, and the one that clinched it for the Tribe.
Tony Fernandez with this solo blast in the top of the 11th off Armando
Benitez gave the Indians a 1-to-nothing lead heading to the bottom of the
Jose Mesa came in and struck out Roberto Alomar with a high and tight
SUPER=35-Cleveland/1/Baltimore/0/Final In 11;
Game, set, match, Dave Justice, Marquis Grissom and the Indians advance.
IN Q="This is...
SUPER=01-Davey Johnson/Orioles Manager; :00
SUPER=01-Mike Hargrove/Indians Manager; :07
OUT Q=...CLEVELAND INDIANS."
Major League owners have voted overwhelmingly to accept a realignment plan
that will involve the switch of one American League team to the National
The Kansas City Royals will be offered the option of moving first.
If they decide decline, the choice falls to Milwaukee.
And the Brewers are anxious to make the jump.
Other moves would have Detroit in the A-L central, and new Tampa Bay in the
An off-the-field move from the college gridiron.
SUPER=03-Gainesville, FL; :00
The Florida Gators have suspended starting quarterback Doug Johnson for this
Saturday's game at Auburn.
Head coach Steve Spurrier says he violated a team rule.
Johnson has thrown for 20 touchdowns already this season.
New Tech women's head coach Bonnie Henrickson has something is common with at
least one N-B-A team when it comes to practice.
SUPER=03-Chapel Hill, NC; :00
As part of her preparation for this season, Henrickson spent some time in
Chapel Hill earlier this month checking out Larry Brown and Philadelphia 76ers
IN Q="They will...
((BONNIE HENRICKSON/VA. TECH WOMEN'S HEAD COACH:))
SUPER=01-Bonnie Henrickson/Va. Tech Women's Head Coach; :00
OUT Q=...FOR MYSELF."
You've heard of protective mothers, but one parrot in Texas may be taking it
a bit far.
"Coco" seems to be suffering from an identity crisis.
She thinks she's the mother of six puppies and she guards them fiercely.
Even their real mother has had to give up trying to take care of the young
Coco attacks anyone who comes close.