Louis Ceparano will spend the rest of his life in prison.
That was the result of a surprise plea agreement yesterday in Grayson County court.
Under terms of the plea, he also agreed to testify against co-defendant Emmett Cressell, Junior who was charged with first degree murder.
As Teresa Hamilton reports-- late yesterday 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 yesterday 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.
Pakistan is ignoring the will of the international community. That according to the State Department.
The country conducted two more nuclear tests in a remote desert bringing the number of blasts up to seven.
They were done despite appeals from the U-N, United States and other nations.
The tests done today were apparently twice the strength of the bomb dropped on Hiroshima.
So far there is no reaction from India.
The two countries are in constant dispute over the territory of Kashmir.
The U-N Security Council is hoping both countries will declare a moratorium ending the bomb testing.
Virginia's senior Senator is calling on President Clinton to meet with world leaders and discuss the threat of a new nuclear arms race.
Senator John Warner said yesterday's testing of nuclear weapons in Pakistan proves we're living in a world that's getting more dangerous.
[SOT 14 10 30]
[IN Q=i hope the president]
((SEN. JOHN WARNER: I HOPE THE PRESIDENT, AND I DO THIS WITH GREAT RESPECT FOR HIM AS THE COMMANDER-IN-CHIEF OF THE ARMED FORCES, INITIATES A CONFERENCE AS SOON AS POSSIBLE TO MEET WITH LEADERS OF INDIAN AND PAKISTAN AND PERHAPS OTHER WORLD LEADERS, TO MEET AND TRY TO RESOLVE THIS RACE AND LESSEN THE TENSION.))
[OUT Q=lessen the tension]
Warner was in Roanoke County yesterday, dedicating a new wing of the I-T-T night-vision complex.
The Blacksburg Indians are going for their fourth state soccer title.
Mike Stevens has highlights in sports.
Good morning Mike.
[IN Q=Good Morning Everydoby]
[OUT Q=this morning]
(Adlib toss to Diner-Preview)
[IN Q=hi, I'm wayne]
((HI I'M WAYNE ODACHOWSKI, COMING UP ON THE WEEKEND DINER, I'LL BE COOKING LOW FAT FETTUCINE. DON'T MISS IT))
[OUT Q=don't miss it]
[Dissolve to Lottery Numbers]
[super=70-1/8/7/5/5/7/8;] Pick 3/Pick 4
[super=71-8/25/28/29/31/3/35/36/43/47/10;] Cash 5/Big Game
Most of us have dreamt about taking someone famous to the high school prom.
For one Pennsylvania high school senior, that dream became reality last night.
Jacque Smith of affiliate K-D-K-A has more.
[SUPER=03-Altoona, PA; :00]
[SUPER=01-Dave Showalter/High School Senior; :22]
[SUPER=01-Chely Wright/Prom Date; :28]
[SUPER=01-Jim Showalter/Dave's Father; :45]
[SUPER=01-Josh Buchanon/High School Senior; 1:24]
[OUT Q=CBS News, Pittsburgh.]
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]))
The Indiana Pacers tie things up in game six of the Eastern Conference Finals.
The Orioles win and the Braves lose.
Now here are your scores.
[wipe to chyron motion]
[WIPE TO SPORTS CHYRON MOTION]
[super=0092-/Atlanta/3/j/Chicago/5//Final In 11/j/New York/11//Philadelphia/0///;]
[SUPER=0092-j/Montreal /4//Pittsburgh/1////Florida/3/j/Milwaukee/4//11 Innings/;]
[OUT Q=....LAST SCORE.]
[TAKE A BREAK]
Yes even though it's going to be close to 90 degrees today they're still playing hockey.
And last night the RED Wings got a little breathing room in the Western Conference Finals.
Detroit on the power play, Niklas Lidstrom takes the shot it's deflected into the goal and the Wings are up two-nothing.
Lidstrom, again making the play and Detroit wins it five to three over the Dallas Stars.
[SUPER=03-Indianapolis, IN/NBA-NBC Sports;]
The the N-B-A the Bird man roosting on his home bench.
The miss comes out to Michael Jordan and Jordan tries to take the wind from beneath Bird's wings.
But it wasn't to be, the Pacers on the break and Miller ends it with a bucket.
Indiana edges past the Bulls 92-to-89 sending the series into a seventh game, the first time a Jordan led Chicago team has had to play a seventh game since 1992.
[ANCHOR=Denise 2 shot**]
[TAPE#=Wknd Diner TC44:09]
(toss to Andrew for Diner)
For the second straight week, we head south to Martinsville.
And if you're a loyal watcher-- you know last week, we also cooked Fettucine.
Maybe Martinsville residents just like pasta...
[IN Q=nat sound]
[OUT Q=Being Here.... Sure]
[Dissolve to Chyron 7153]
If you drop us a self-addressed, stamped envelope, we'll send you this recipe.
You can see the address there on the screen. You can also check out our web site under the weekend mornings section.
And, don't forget if you'd like to be on the weekend diner, send us a note with your recipe, name, address and phone number.
And if we come to your house, you'll get a cool weekend diner apron.
[ANCHOR=Denise 2 shot]
Here's a look at today's top stories.
[SUPER=#4070;weekend headline banner]
Louis Ceparano will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Yesterday he entered an Alford plea in which he doesn't admit guilt, but acknowledges there is enough evidence to convict him.
Ceparano will likely testify against Emmitt Cressell, Junior, who now faces the death penalty in the brutal murder of G-P Johnson last year.
Local musicians weren't raising their voices in song last night.
They were protesting Festival in the Park's policy of not paying local bands to perform.
Festival organizers say the event is about donating your time and talent to the community.
And Pakistan has exploded two more nuclear bombs.
Today's tests come after Pakistan conducted five nuclear blasts on Thursday.
There has been no response from neighboring India.
[ANCHOR=Denise 2 SHOT]
And that's what's making news on this Saturday May 30-th .
We'll be back in just a minute.
Local musicians staged a protest yesterday--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.))
Barry Goldwater was famous for saying exactly what was on his mind, and sometimes he said it with extremely salty language.
One of his most memorable blasts was aimed at Lynchburg preacher Jerry Falwell.
Back in 1981, President Reagan appointed Sandra Day O'Connor of Arizona to the U.S. Supreme Court.
Falwell was concerned that O'Connor might be liberal on abortion rights, and said "all good Christians" should oppose the nomination.
Here's how Goldwater reacted:
[IN Q=I merely said]
((BARRY GOLDWATER/FORMER SENATOR: I MERELY SAID THAT WHAT HE NEEDED WAS A KICK IN THE ASS. AND I DIDN'T WANT TO GO ANY STRONGER THAN THAT, BUT I THINK THEY GET THE IDEA.))
[SUPER=01-Barry Goldwater/Former Senator;]
[OUT Q=get the idea.]
O'Connor was confirmed to the Supreme Court later that year.
Goldwater died yesterday at the age of 89.[Kinkel-Parents]
A memorial service for Bill and Faith Kinkel packed the gym of Springfield High School last night.
Faith taught French there and her husband, a language teacher, was planning to retire from Thurston High School.
Police say their 15 year old son murdered them on May 21st, then drove to Thurston High School where he opened fire on a cafeteria full of students.
[IN Q=I WANT TO]
((KRISTEN KINKEL/DAUGHTER: I WANT TO THANK ALL OF YOU FOR JOINING US IN THIS CELEBRATION OF LIFE. I USE THAT PHRASE BECAUSE I BELIEVE THAT'S WAHT THEY WOULD HAVE WANTED.))
[OUT Q=WOULD HAVE WANTED]
Two students died in the cafeteria shooting and 22 others were injured.
The accused, Kip Kinkel will be tried as an adult.
Godzilla is stomping its way to the top of the box-office lists.
But Anna Wentworth says this big movie can never be as big as the hype.
[SUPER=01-Anna Wentworth/Arts Reviewer; :00]
[SUPER=04-Tristar Pictures; :13]
[SUPER=04-Godzilla C+; 1:20]
[OUT Q=for a sequel]
(( The problem with the movie "Godzilla" is twofold. First, it would
be impossible for any movie to live up to the media hype generated by the studio for "Godzilla". The other problem is simply that the concept is limited. What can you do with a giant dinosaur-like lizard? The lizard comes to town, wreaks havoc, guys try to kill it, end of story. It's been done and done and done and unless for once they let the lizards win, the conclusion is foregone.
Of course the movie is mostly about special effects and they are
amazing. Not to give too much away, but there is a lengthy scene inside Madison Square Garden that is right up there with the raptor scenes in the original "Jurassic Park", both for scare-factor and for visual wizardry.
My problem with the movie is that for most of "Godzilla", I was on
the lizard's side. The humans didn't have much to recommend them. Matthew Broderick is a biologist brought in to consult about the lizard. Maria Pitillo is his so-called romantic interest, a wannabe reporter who uses him to get the story. Hank Azaria is a risk taking cameraman.
The monster heads for New York City, so there are lots of scenes of
destruction of buildings, subway systems and cars, Even though this movie gets a C+ from me, the movie makers have left plenty of potential for a sequel.))
Virginia's Executive Mansion is playing host to Hollywood again.
The makers of a miniseries by Tom Clancy scouted the mansion yesterday as a location.
Governor Jim Gilmore says they were 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 Dreamworks is coming to Richmond in August.
That's when they'll shoot a Sandra Bullock and Ben Affleck romance called "Forces of Nature."[Virginia-Dare]
[TAPE#=Time OFf TC22:29]
Paying for a week- long vacation cruise can make you SINK pretty heavily into your pocketbook.
But if you still yearn to be on the open water, Kimberly McBroom has a less- expensive idea.
In this week's "Time Off", she'll take us back to Smith Mountain Lake.
But this time, we'll be sailing aboard the Virginia Dare.
[IN Q=It's not the Love Boat]
[SUPER=03-Bedford Co.; :00]
[SUPER=01-Alice Swain/VA Dare Cruises & Marina; :10]
[SUPER=07-Ginny Cox; :42]
[SUPER=07-Lonnie Wallace; :50 QUICK!!]
[OUT Q=News 7, Bedford County]
(( It's not the Love Boat--
But on a brilliant day like this one, a cruise aboard the Virginia Dare provides a little escape from the daily pressures on land.
((ALICE SWAIN/VA DARE CRUISES & MARINA: BEAUTIFUL SCENERY, SOME BEAUTIFUL HOMES, WILDLIFE. LOTS OF TIMES, YOU'LL SEE A DEER CROSSING THE WATER, OR YOU'LL SEE ON OSPREY FLYING ACROSS THE SKY. SMITH MOUNTAIN LAKE HAS GOT THE BEST OF BOTH WORLDS. IT'S GOT THE WATER, AND IT'S GOT THE MOUNTAINS.))
The Virginia Dare has been docked at Smith Mountain Lake for nearly a decade.
But Swain says this is its first, complete year as a full- service marina.
A dockside bar, named "Portside" just opened this season.
However, it's the traditional meal cruises that prompt many people to try out their sea legs.
((GINNY COX: OH, IT WAS JUST GREAT. IT WAS THE SMOOTHEST THING, AND THE FOOD WAS SO GOOD. THE WHOLE THING WAS JUST A COMPLETE DELIGHT.))
[SOT 14:07:27 ]
((LONNIE WALLACE: SHORT CRUISE, WE REALLY ENJOYED IT. IT WAS REALLY NICE.))
In season, lunch cruises like the one these folks just took run 27- dollars per person.
For dinner aboard the Virginia Dare, it's 38- 50 a person.
That includes a two- hour boat ride, the meal, and sales tax.
And if you have varied tastes-- Friday nights are "theme" nights.
((ALICE SWAIN/VA DARE CRUISES & MARINA: AND WE LIVE UP TO THE SCENE. WE DRESS MEXICAN, WE DRESS COUNTRY. WE PLAY COUNTRY MUSIC. SO, THAT'S KIND OF NICE AND IT GIVES THE PEOPLE SOMETHING DIFFERENT TO LOOK FORWARD TO.))
Swain estimates 15 to 20- thousand people climb aboard the Virginia Dare each season, which runs from now through October.
While it's a relatively short drive for most people in our viewing area-- visitors come from as far away as New Jersey and Colorado for a sail.
((ALICE SWAIN/VA DARE CRUISES & MARINA: LET US SHOW YOU THE LAKE LIKE NOBODY ELSE CAN.))
Kimberly McBroom, News 7, Bedford county.))
Area teams don't shine on the diamond yesterday.
Mike Stevens has more high school highlights and qualifying.
Good Morning again Mike.
[IN Q=Howdy once again]
[OUT Q=Saturday Everybody]
[GRAPHIC=Did you see that]
Finally this morning, Did you See that?
A marine pilot is being recognized, 50 years after serving in World War Two.
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.
Captain Strader and five others were the only survivors out of the original thirty-six pilots in his unit.
[IN Q=They all flew]
((RET. CAPTAIN PHILIP L. STRADER/FORMER BOMBER PILOT: THEY ALL FLEW THE SAME AS I DID AND SHELLS HIT THEM INSTEAD OF ME ..AND I KEEP THROWING THAT IN, BUT GOD
WAS DOING SOMETHING-HE WAS HELPING AND MY MOTHER - SHE WAS PRAYING FOR ME.))
[SUPER=01-Capt. Philip Strader/Former US Marine Corps Pilot]
[OUT Q=praying for me]
Captain Strader was a member of the Marine Scout Bombing Squadron 244, which flew thirteen successful missions.