A suprise plea agreement-
from Louis Ceparano- the Man accused of burning and beheading of a former Marine.
We'll hear from Ceparano.
Autopsy results are released on Actor Phil Hartman and his wife.
Local musicians take to the streets to protest Roanoke's Festival in the Park.
Join us for News 7 at Eleven.
[SUPER=#4064; News 7 at Eleven Headline Banner]
The man accused of killing a former black marine in Grayson County no longer faces the death penalty.
This afternoon-- he entered a plea in exchange for life in prison without parole.
Under terms of the plea, he also agreed to testify against co-defendant Emmett Cressell, Junior who was charged with first degree murder, until today.
As Teresa Hamilton reports-- late this afternoon the charge against Cressell was upgraded to capital murder.
[IN Q=I'm still]
[SUPER=07-Louis Ceparano; :00 ]
[SUPER=01-Jimmy Turk/Ceparano's Attorney; 1:00 ]
[OUT Q=News 7, Independence.]
((LOUIS CEPARANO/MURDER DEFENDANT:I'M STILL GOING TO STAND ON THE GROUNDS THAT I'M NOT GUILTY, I DIN'T KILL HIM, HE WAS A FRIEND OF MINE. ))
[OUT Q=friend of mine.]
Ceparano's brief comments came just hours after he learned he no longer faces the death penalty.
Instead-- he'll spend life in prison without the possibility of parole in the death of Garnett G-P Johnson.
The judge's sentence was handed down after Ceparano entered an Alford plea-- which means he's not admitting guilt but realizes the state has enough evidence against him for a conviction.
The victim was burned alive and later decapitated at a drinking party at Ceparano's home in Elk Creek.
Part of the evidence would have come from the Sheriff who spotted Ceparano walking away from the area where the victim's body was still smoldering.
Other evidence would have come from Louise Anderson who was at the drinking party the night Johnson was killed.
She was prepared to testify that Ceparano had talked about burning the victim on a white cross.
Whatever the evidence--one thing was certain-- Ceparano's attorneys were relieved with the deal.
((JIMMY TURK/CEPARANO'S ATTORNEY:AND THE VICTIM'S FAMILY SEEMS SATISFIED, WITH THE PLEA AND THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF IT, SO WE'RE SATISFIED. ))
One interesting note come out of all of this.
Cressell had initially agreed to testify against Ceparano.
But now that the tables have been turned it's Cressell who's now behind bars facing the death penalty.
Teresa Hamilton, NEWS 7, Independence.
A convicted murderer may spend 53-years in prison for killing his wife.
The jury recommended that sentence this afternoon for Timothy Abbott.
The 36-year old Pittsylvania County man was found guilty today on first degree murder and firearms charges.
He maintains he shot his wife Melissa because he thought she was an intruder.
But on that night in February 1997, Abbott fired the fatal shot while standing less than three feet from his wife.
Her family says justice was served.
[IN Q=I think they did]
((BILL HOLLAND/VICTIM'S FATHER: I THINK THEY DID AN EXCELLENT JOB AND COME TO THIS RIGHT DECISION WITH THE INSTRUCTIONS THAT THEY HAD. I JUST WISH THEY HAD BEEN ABLE TO GIVE HIM THE DEATH PENALTY.))
[SUPER=01-Bill Holland/Victim's Father;]
[OUT Q=the death penalty.]
This was not a capital case, so the death penalty was NOT an option.
The jury COULD have imposed a sentence of life in prison.
Abbott's defense attorneys pushed for a lesser sentence-- arguing that he is mentally unstable.
Barry Goldwater- the Conservative voice from Arizona- has died at the age of 89.
Richard Threlkeld looks back on his life.
[SUPER=01-Richard Threlkeld/Reporting; no standup]
[OUT Q=New York.]
((Barry Goldwater will never compromise his independence.
Barry Morris Goldwater began his political career in 1952 when he ran for the
senate in arizona and won. politically he was conservative. personally he
was brash and plain speaking...anti-tax...anti-big government...and most of
GOLDWATER: I CHARGE THAT THIS ADMINISTRATION IS SOFT ON COMMUNISM AND YOU KNOW
BY THE 60'S THE GRAND OLD PARTY HAD A NEW YOUNG LOOK.
GOLDWATER ATTRACTED YOUNG VOTERS...BY CONVINCING THEM THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY WAS
OUT OF TOUCH.
GOLDWATER: IT'S AN EMPTY SHELL INTO WHICH HAS CRAWLED EVERY ANTI-AMERICAN
IDEA THAT HAS EVER POPPED INTO THIS COUNTRY.
When goldwater was nominated for president in 1964...his speech defined him...
and haunted him...for the rest of his career.
GOLWATER: I WOULD REMIND YOU THAT EXTREMISM IN THE DEFENSE OF LIBERTY IS NO VICE.
Lyndon Johnson jumped at the chance to portray goldwater as a loose cannon in
the nuclear age. what might have been the first negative tv ad in history
hammered home the point.
In one of the biggest landslides in history...lyndon johnson buried barry
GOLDWATER: I have no rancor, no bitterness at all.
Four years later, Goldwater was back in the senate. He told Richard Nixon, a
man he once considered a friend...that if nixon didn't resign after Watergate
...he'd probably be impeached.
GOLDWATER: Mr. Nixon hurt the Republican party and he hurt America. And frankly I
don't think he should ever be forgiven."
In 1986 Goldwater left public life...but not the public eye. as he grew
older, he also grew tougher to label. Mr. Conservative supported clinton's
plan to allow gay people in the military. He knew he made people angry...he'd
been doing it all his life.
GOLDWATER: I DON'T CARE WHAT THEY THINK AS LONG AS THEY THINK I'M
Jean tosses to Robin in the Chromakey
Local musicians are upset with Festival in the Park organizers. We'll tell you why after this break.
and more information comes to light as investigators look into the deaths of actor Phil Hartman and his wife.
The autopsies of actor-comedian Phil Hartman and his wife show that he died of multiple gunshots to the head while she died from a single, self-inflicted wound.
Police are still looking for a motive in the murder suicide.
Newspaper reports say Hartman's wife had a problem with her temper and may have flown into a fit of jealous rage- because their marriage was ending.
A friend of the couple says she knew the marriage was troubled but was shocked by the violent end.
((IT WAS BUILDING BUT I DIDN'T EXPECT. THIS WAS COMPLETELY UNEXPECTED.))
[OUT Q=COMPLETELY UNEXPECTED.]
The couples two children are now with relatives.
Police in Danville, Illinois have discovered a second destructive device in the yard of a man killed yesterday by an explosion in his garage.
39-year old Richard Dean White was to be questioned about
a church bombing that injured 33 people- but investigators stopped short of calling him a suspect.
((THIS INDIVIDUAL WAS THE PERSON WHO WAS ON A LONG LIST OF INTERVIEWS BEING CONDUCTED. WE'RE NOT SAYING A SUSPECT.))
[SUPER=01-Larry Thomason/Danville, IL Police;]
[OUT Q=a suspect.]
Investigators say the Army veteran had spent time in mental wards.
The party's over for 16 Roanoke County teenagers, who allegedly ravaged a home for three days while the family was away on vacation.
The group left thousands of dollars worth of damage -- along with piles of marijuana and beer bottles.
Tina Tenret reports on the group's day in court.
[IN Q=When Michael Meyers]
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co./File Tape; :00]
[SUPER=01-Michael Meyers/Homeowner; :35]
[SUPER=02-Defendant's Father; 1:08]
[OUT Q=Tina Tenret News7]
(( When Michael Meyers returned from Thanksgiving vacation -- his home was trashed.
His son's classmate had stolen the house keys, waited for the family to leave, then invited 16 friends over for a party.
It lasted three days.
Kids smoked pot and drank beer.
They dug into the family's wine, champagne and food.
Took the rowboat out, drove the car, stole camping equipment.
Then slept in the family's beds.
Meyers says these are serious crimes.
[IN Q=People have swept]
((PEOPLE HAVE SWEPT THEM UNDER THE RUG ...DISPRESPECT FOR FRIENDSHIP.))
[OUT Q=for friendship]
Ten kids faced felonies -- but after spending a day in court, most walked away with only misdemeanor charges.
No one admitted to destroying or stealing property.
The judge said they must be lying.
But a parent says these children do not deserve felony charges.
[IN Q=Granted they all done]
((GRANTED THEY ALL DONE SOMETHING HORRIBLY WRONG ... CHARGES AGAINST A 16-YEAR-OLD.))
[OUT Q=a 16 year old]
[IN Q=The judge ordered]
((THE JUDGE ORDERED SOCIAL HISTORIES AND SUBSTANCE ABUSE EVALUATIONS FOR ALL TEN CHILDREN. THEY WILL BE CONVICTED OR CLEARED IN AUGUST. TINA TENRET NEWS7.))
[OUT Q=Tina Tenret News7]))
Local musicians staged a protest today--claiming they're not getting the same treatment as out-of-town musicians who perform at Festival in the Park.
Stacey Martin was there.
[IN Q=A Roanoke street]
[SUPER=01-Phil Norman/Local Musician; :16]
[SUPER=04-May 22; :47]
[SUPER=01-Wendi Schultz/Festival in the Park; :57]
[OUT Q=SM, News 7.]
A Roanoke street corner became a stage of sorts for some local musicians performing the same number--
[SOT 18.46.33 - 18.46.36]
[IN Q=Fair play]
((FAIR PLAY MEANS PAY))
[OUT Q=means play]
Exposure is what Festival in the Park offers local bands who play at the event.
But, these mucisians say that's not enough.
[SOT 18.16.20 - 18.16.33]
[IN Q=What's exposure?]
((PHIL NORMAN/LOCAL MUSICIAN: WHAT'S EXPOSURE? IT'S MY NAME PRINTED IN A FESTIVAL PROGRAM THAT PEOPLE TAKE HOME AND THROW AWAY. THERE AREN'T A LINE OF OTHER CLUB VENUES AND THINGS GOING ON AND COMING UP TO ME SAYING HERE-PERFORM. I NEED TO BE PAID SO I CAN PAY MY RENT.))
[OUT Q=pay my rent.]
The no payment policy has been in place for nearly 10 years at Festival in the Park --and while these starving artists think it's unfair, many local bands including the Flamethrowers don't seem to mind.
[SOT 19.07.36 - 19.07.40]
[IN Q=nat sound]
While out of town groups including the Dixie Chicks, got paid thousands of dollars to perform--locally, the event's organizer said most local help is FREE and there's no WORK involved.
[SOT 19.45.26 - 19.45.39]
[IN Q=that's what volunteering]
((WENDI SCHULTZ/EXEC. DIR. FESTIVAL IN THE PARK: THAT'S WHAT VOLUNTEERING IS ALL ABOUT--DONATING YOUR TIME TO YOUR COMMUNITY--GIVING THINGS BACK TO YOUR COMMUNITY. THE NATIONAL ACTS THAT WE BRING IN CONNECTION IN HAVE NO CONNECTION TO THIS COMMUNITY SO WHY WOULD THEY DONATE THEIR TIME TO US?))
[OUT Q=time to us?]
[SOT 18.57.27 - 18.57.38]
[IN Q=Local musicians]
((STACEY MARTIN/REPORTING: LOCAL MUSICIANS DON'T EXPECT THIS PROTEST TO CHANGE POLICIES AT THIS YEAR'S FESTIVAL IN THE PARK BUT, THEY DO HOPE IT WILL STRIKE A CHORD WITH ORGANIZERS FOR SIMILAR EVENTS IN THE FUTURE. STACEY MARTIN, NEWS 7 ROANOKE.))
OUT Q=SM, News 7 Roanoke.]
Next on the newscast, I-T-T is expanding and bringing more jobs to Roanoke,
and from Richmond, we'll tell you why the Governor's mansion is well on its way to becoming a Hollywood star.
Virginia Senator John Warner is praising a Roanoke County company for doing its part to protect soldiers in battle.
I-T-T Night Vision makes the equipment that helps soldiers see when it's dark.
This afternoon the company opened a new wing on its manufacturing complex.
Warner, a former marine, said I-T-T's products are invaluable to the U-S military.
[SOT 14 09 31]
[IN Q=yesterday i]
((JOHN WARNER: YESTERDAY I TALKED WITH THE SEAL TEAM -- THE NAVY SPECIALIST TEAM -- THAT HAS TO RESCUE HOSTAGES IN AREAS WITH NO MAPS AND IF THEY'VE GOT THIS INSTRUMENT, THEY'RE BETTER PROTECTED AND MORE EFFECTIVE AS A UNIT.))
[OUT Q=AS A UNIT]
The new complex cost 20-million dollars to build and will bring 140 jobs to Roanoke County.
Virginia's Executive Mansion is the full-time home to the Governor's family, a tourist hotspot... and increasingly, a movie set.
A crew for a miniseries by espionage thriller writer Tom Clancy scouted the mansion today.
Governor Jim Gilmore says the crew was warned about needed repairs.
[IN Q=They know]
((THEY KNOW ABOUT THOSE. ROXANE THIS MORNING TOLD THEM-- THEY SAID WE'RE GONNA BRING IN THIS MANY PEOPLE AND THIS MUCH EQUIPMENT AND SHE SAID JUST MAKE SURE YOUR EQUIPMENT DOESN'T END UP THROUGH THE FLOOR. SO WE'RE CONCERNED ABOUT IT.))
[OUT Q=about it.]
The Executive Mansion is slated for a renovation.
Meanwhile, the Virginia Film Office today confirmed that Steven Spielberg's Dreamworks is shooting in Richmond in August.
A romance film called "Forces of Nature" will star Sandra Bullock and Ben Affleck.[Forecasts]
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It's a state championship weekend in the Roanoke Valley and we'll check out highlights from all parts of Spring Jubilee's semi-final Friday, plus qualifying results from Dover, as well.
But first, the Atlanta Falcons have come to terms with former Virginia Tech running back Ken Oxendine.
The Richmond native who was a 7th round draft pick of the Falcons, signed a two year deal today.
Oxendine was the 201st overall pick in the draft.
Now the Friday digits.
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[OUT Q=....LAST SCORE.]
[TAKE A BREAK]
[GRAPHIC=group aa soccer]
Our state semi-final Friday coverage begin with soccer as Blacksburg remains undefeated.
The Indians took an early one-nothing lead in the Group 2A Soccer Semi-finals
[SUPER=03-Vinton/W. Albemarle vs. Blacksburg;]
and that's all Blacksburg needed to beat Western Albemarle in Vinton last night.
The Indians fired shot after shot Western's goalie Ross Van Brocklin makes the great save here.
But on the corner kick, Blacksburg's Dennis Carlyle kicks it right in front of the goal and Braden Powell is there to put it in, making it two - nothing Indians.
Blacksburg adds another insurance goal and goes on to beat Western Albemarle three to zero.
The Indians play for their fourth state title later this afternoon at five against Handley. The Judges beat Virgin
ia High 4-to-2 last night.[S-Byrd]
[GRAPHIC=Group AA Softball]
William Byrd was eliminated in the semi finals of the state softball tournament over at the Moyers Sports complex in Salem.
[SUPER=03-Salem/William Byrd vs Orange; :00]
The Terriers would battle the Hornets of Orange until the final inning.
In the top of the 7-th Monica Alexander hits a shot to centerfield scoring a run from second to make it one to nothing Hornets.
Byrd had the last at bat but Orange pitcher Marty Moats strikes out Courtney Ross to end the game and the
[SUPER=34-Orange/1/William Byrd/0/;] Lady Hornets advance with the 1 to nothing victory.
[GRAPHIC=Group AA Softball]
Orange will play Turner Ashby in the championship later today. The Knights knocked off the defending Lady Devils of Rustburg 2 to 1.
[SUPER=03-Salem/Rustburg vs Turner Ashby; :]
The Lady Knights led 2 to nothing but this diving catch by Rustburg rightfielder Crystal hall gets the lady devils out of trouble in the sixth inning.
The momentum carried over to Rustburg's at Bat. Lindsey Shelton sends this pitch to right centerfield
scoring a run to make it 2 to 1 Lady Knights.
Rustburg had the final at bat but Ashby pitcher
gets the grounder back to the mound and throws out the runner the Lady Knights advance to the state with the 2 to 1.
[GRAPHIC=GROUP A SOFTBALL]
The news is no better for fans of Glenvar softball, as the Lady Highlanders lost last night in the Group A semi-finals to William Monroe 5-to-1.
[SUPER=03-Salem/Wm. Monroe vs. Glenvar; :00]
The Highlanders fans made the short trip to Moyer Complex to show their support and spelling prowess.
And the Lady Highs would score first in this one as Chrissy Lewis the junior third baseman knocks in Elizabeth Wilburn with the shot to center field.
But William Monroe would come back with flurry.
The Green Dragons' Shannan Haas gets the eventual game winning hit as she breaks open a 1-all game in the fourth with this two run RBI double.
William Monroe beats Glenvar 5-to-1 to advance to the title game later today against Brentsville an 8-to-1 winner over Holston.
[GRAPHIC=GROUP AA BASEBALL]
The Group Two-A baseball produced good results for the area's lone remaining Diamond King, Dan River high school.
[SUPER=03-Salem/Fauquier vs. Dan River; :00]
The Wildcats came in hoping to take the next to last step toward securing the state crown at Kiwanis Field.
And they would make a big statement in the first inning as Dan River pitcher Gill Jones whacks a monster blast out of the yard, over the center field fence. Wildcats one Fauquier nothing.
Dan River got another run in the sixth as Jonathan Moran laces one to the gap in deep center field, the diving catch comes up short and a run scores to make it a two to nothing Wildcats lead.
But Fauquier rallied in the top of the seventh, and scored twice.
This single to right field chases home one of the runs.
But Dan River is able to win it 3-to-2 in 10
[super=34-Dan River/3/Fauquier/2/10 Innings; ]
The Cats will play Virginia HIgh for the title later tonight.
Court was also in session as four venues hosted state semi-finals tennis action yesterday.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/River's Edge Complex;]
J.I. Burton took a swing at Essex in group A semi-final action.
Burton took the court at River's Edge and won nine to zero.
Radford faces Burton later today morning for the championship.
The Bobcats beat Central Woodstock eight to one yesterday.
Tech, Radford U, and the Salem Civic Center also hosted matches yesterday.
The Radford girls also won yesterday and will meet JJ Kelly for their title later today.
In Double A Girls Tennis Blacksburg and Ft. DeFiance advanced to force a battle of Indians for that crown.
And in Group Two-A boys action, York eliminates Salem and next takes on Handley for the championship.
One of Friday Football Extra's traditional powers Brookville high school has a new head football coach tonight.
Bobby Johnson, who has been the school's offensive coordinator for the past two seasons replaces Mark Lineburg, who resigned earlier this month.
Johnson grew up in Nelson County and also was an assistant coach at Glass for five years.
Still to come tonight we will literally shift gears from the Spring Jubilee happenings and
hit the track in Dover where Rusty smoked the competition during qualifying this afternoon.
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[SUPER=0107-1. Rusty Wallace/155.898/2. Jeff Gordon//3. Mark Martin//4. Dale Jarrett//5. Ricky Rudd//;]
[SUPER=0107-6. Joe Nemechek//7. Rick Mast//8. Ernie Irvan//9. Kenny Irwin//10. Ward Burton//;]
[SUPER=0107-11. Lake Speed//12. Jeremy Mayfield//13. Dick Trickle//14. Johnny Benson//15. Jimmy Spencer//;]
[SUPER=0107-16. John Andretti//17. Terry Labonte//18. Mike Skinner//19. Buckshot Jones//20. Sterling Marlin;]
[SUPER=0107-21. Michael Waltrip//22. Robert Pressley//23. Ted Musgrave//24. Bill Elliott//25. Ken Schrader;]
[Marine-Medal VIDEO OF THE DAY]
50 years after serving in World War Two, a marine pilot's service is being recognized.
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[Super=X5045 (starts FX)]
Lynchburg's Mayor and representatives from the local Marine Corps unit presented Captain Philip L. Strader with the Air Medal and 13 stars.
The medal recognizes unselfish devotion to duty in the face of hazardous flying conditions.
[IN Q=It was an]
((RET. CAPTAIN PHILIP L. STRADER/FORMER BOMBER PILOT:It was an experience that shook me, and it still does. If you pull out at seven thousand feet and start down- then come out on the tree tops you can't see what's going on- really.))
[OUT Q=going on- really]
Captain Strader was a member of the Marine Scout Bombing Squadron 244, which flew thirteen successful missions.
He and five others were the only survivors out of the original thirty-six pilots in his unit.
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