Up next on News 7, a Grayson County jury begins debating the guilt or innocence of accused murderer Emmett Cressell Junior.
and a surprise guilty plea in the case of a mother accused of killing her infant daughter.
Another chilly night ahead with temperatures slipping into the 20's in the normally colder locations.
The Beef People are recalling some additional meat products.
And a 50-thousand dollar laser eye surgery has the government's approval.
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The fate of accused murderer Emmett Cressell Junior is now in the hands of a Grayson County jury.
Cressell is facing the death penalty for his role in the death of a former Marine.
[Double Boxes=Jean/Teresa STARLINK;]
Teresa Hamilton joins us live from outside the Grayson County courthouse where jurors began deliberating about 45 minutes ago.
Teresa, any idea how long it could take for the jury to reach a verdict?
In Henry County, a high-profile murder case took a sharp turn today just as the trial was about to begin.
A woman accused of killing her infant daughter on Mother's Day suprised everyone and pleaded guilty.
[Double Boxes=Jean and Christy/Microwave]
Christy Hubley was at the courthouse when the unexpected happened and she joins us from our Danville newsroom.
Sharon Alley was looking at a possible first degree murder conviction and a lifetime in prison.
Instead of gamble with a jury, she opted to plead guilty to a lesser charge of second degree murder.
[IN Q=Are you entering]
[SUPER=03-Henry Co.; :12]
[SUPER=01-Kimble Reynolds/Defense Attorney; :28]
[SUPER=01-Bob Bushnell/Prosecutor; :53]
[OUT Q=every minute of that.]
[IN Q=Are you entering your]
((JUDGE: ARE YOU ENTERING YOUR PLEAS OF GUILTY FREELY AND VOLUNTARILY. ALLEY: YES SIR. JUDGE: ARE YOU ENTERING YOUR PLEAS OF GUILTY BECAUSE YOU ARE IN FACT GUILTY OF THESE CRIMES? ALLEY: YES SIR.))
[OUT Q=yes sir.]
Sharon Alley-- accused of stabbing her eight-month old daughter Brooke to death in May-- admitted she did it.
Her plea came just as her murder trial was about to begin.
Defense lawyers say one reason she decided NOT to stand trial was out of concern for her other child.
[IN Q=One of the main things]
((KIMBLE REYNOLDS/DEFENSE ATTORNEY: ONE OF THE MAIN THINGS WAS THE 9-YEAR OLD SON ERIC HAVING TO TAKE THE STAND AND TESTIFY AGAINST HIS MOTHER AND WHAT MAY BE THE LONG TERM EFFECTS AS WELL AS THE SHORT TERM EFFECTS ON HIM.))
[OUT Q=effects on him.]
Alley also pleaded guilty to a felony neglect charge.
That stemmed from an incident in October 1997 when she threw little Brooke across the kitchen floor.
Henry County's prosecutor says he's satisfied with the plea arrangement.
[IN Q=I think 2nd degree murder]
((BOB BUSHNELL/PROSECUTOR: I THING 2ND DEGREE MURDER IS AN APPROPRIATE PLEA COUPLED WITH THE FELONY NEGLECT CHILD ABUSE-- ITS GIVES JUDGE WILLIAMS 50-YEARS OF SENTENCING POWER AND IT'S MY INTENTION TO ARGUE THAT HE OUGHT TO GIVE HER EVERY MINUTE OF THAT.))
[OUT Q=minute of that.]
The murder-two charge carries a maximum of 40-years in prison-- the felony neglect carries a maximum 10-years.
So that's what makes up the 50-years Prosecutor Bushnell mentioned.
[Double Boxes=Jean and Christy/Microwave]
Jean, sentencing is set for January 19th.
Tropical Storm Mitch just won't go away.
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It pummeled South Florida and the Florida Keys overnight-
In Key Largo, people are checking out the damage left by high winds and possible tornados.
Mitch ripped off roofs and flipped mobile homes.
Meanwhile in Nicaragua and Honuras aid is now arriving.
The U-S is sending 30 million dollars in miitary equipment and services and 36 million in food, fuel and other aid.
[(toss to R)]
(toss to Robin)
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Still to come on the newscast, a North Carolina student holds a knife to a school employee's neck,
and from Washington, the House panel investigating President Clinton could hear from special prosecutor Ken Starr directly.
On Health Check, we'll have news of two recalls of possibly contaminated meat.
and Patrick Evans will have some suggestions to knock out that early Holiday shopping.
The House impeachment hearings on President Clinton will feature one major witness- prosecutor Ken Starr.
That's according to the chairman of the Judiciary Committee Henry Hyde.
Hyde is also asking the President to either admit or deny some allegations about his conduct with Monica Lewinsky.
((REP. HENRY HYDE/R-HOUSE JUDICIARY COMMITTEE CHAIRMAN: NO ONE SHOULD TAKE THESE REQUESTS AS ESTABLISHING OUR FINAL CONCLUSISONS, RATHER THEY WILL SIMPLY HELP US TO ESTABLISH WHICH FACTS ARE IN DISPUTE AND WHAT FACTS ARE NOT.))
[SUPER=01-Rep. Henry Hyde/(R) Judiciary Committee Chairman;]
[OUT Q=facts are not.]
Hyde says he hopes the matter will be resolved by the end of the year.
A man who talks tax cuts is a man near and dear to Governor Jim Gilmore's heart.
Even if he's the former professional wrestler Jesse "The Body," or as he'd now like to be addressed "The Mind" Ventura.
Governor Gilmore says he's looking forward to meeting Minnesota's body-slamming Governor- elect.
We asked Gilmore if he'd like his own cool nickname.
[IN Q=I'm called]
((I'M CALLED SO MANY NAMES EVERY DAY, THAT I DON'T THINK I NEED ANY MORE.))
[OUT Q=any more.]
South Carolina Governor David Beasley talked tax cuts and lost-- even though he borrowed Gilmore's first in the nation "no car tax" pledge, and even got some help campaigning from Gilmore.
[IN Q=Well I don't]
((WELL I DON'T THINK THAT THAT WAS A CONSISTENT MESSAGE IN THAT CAMPAIGN. WHEREAS THE OPPOSITION DID HAVE A CONSISTENT MESSAGE. AND THAT WAS LOTTERY FOR EDUCATION. WE HERE IN VIRGINIA OF COURSE HAVE GIVEN A CONSISTENT MESSAGE AND DELIVERED ON TAX CUTS.))
[OUT Q=tax cuts.]
Overall, Governor Gilmore says Republicans nationwide need to focus on coherent messages to succeed in elections.
A hostage situation at a North Carolina high school today was apparently all about a report card.
The student angry over his grades- allegedly held people hostage inside the school.
Police say Robert Coleman held an eight inch kitchen knife to a secretary's neck demanding she change his grades.
An assitant principal walked into the room- and calmed the boy down.
The assistant principal said he'd change his grades to get the boy to release the secretary-
When police arrived Coleman surrendered- He's now being held on kidnapping and assault charges.
A new branch of the N-double-A-C-P is starting in Botetourt County.
Members say there are not enough African-Americans in the county's government.
They also say William Clark Middle School -- originally built for African-Americans -- should once again be called the Central Academy.
[IN Q=You'd think]
((MARTIN JEFFREY/ROANOKE NAACP PRESIDENT: YOU'D THINK THERE WERE NO AFRICAN-AMERICANS IN BOTETOURT COUNTY BUT THERE ARE SOME THERE. TO THE EXTENT THERE IS PARTICIPATION BY THEM IN TERMS OF PAYING TAXES, THERE SHOULD BE SOME PARTICIPATION IN TERMS OF DECISION MAKING ABOUT HOW THOSE TAX DOLLARS SHOULD BE SPENT.))
[SUPER=01-Martin Jeffrey/Roanoke NAACP President;]
[OUT Q=should be spent]
But members say the N-double-A-C-P will look out for all of Botetourt County.
[IN Q=We're going]
((VEE HINTON/BOTETOURT CO. NAACP MEMBER: WE'RE GOING TO GET MORE INTO VOTER REGISTRATION FOR ONE THING. THAT WILL DEAL WITH THE YOUNG AND THE OLD AND EVERYTHING BECAUSE OUR VOTE REALLY DOES COUNT AND WE REALLY WANT TO STRESS THAT.))
[SUPER=01-Vee Hinton/Botetourt Co. NAACP Member;]
[OUT Q=to stress that]
The Botetourt County branch will not become a full-fledged N-double-A-C-P chapter until it gains 50 members and more training.
The branch will meet for the first time this Saturday.
The Holiday Shopping Season is about to get under way full steam ahead. If you want to want to avoid the crowds and confusion, Patrick Evans has a suggestion for you.
[LIVE=PATRICK FULL MICROWAVE]
[OUT Q=News 7 at 5]
The barrage of holiday shopping ads has already started, but amidst the sound and fury, there is one shopping opportunity that consistently offers up fine hand-made holiday gifts.
[Double Boxes=Jean/Pat Microwave]
Patrick Evans joins us from HollyDaze- where special attention is paid to what kinds of crafts are offered each year.
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Still to come in Sports, the ODAC conference is gearing up for the start of its basketball season. Mike Stevens will have that story.
Next on health check --
A hot dog recall in Winn Dixie stores is being expanded to include other types of meat.
and we'll see a new procedure approved just this week that can help millions of Americans with vision problems.
[SOT 10:30:46 CBS]
[IN Q=I'm looking forward]
[OUT Q=and forget about them]
80 million Americans are afflicted with potentially blinding eye disorders.
Source: National Keratoconus Foundation[5-Winn-Dixie]
Winn-Dixie grocery stores are taking another step to make sure they don't sell bacteria contaminated food.
The stores have expanded a hot dog recall to include lunch meat.
The recall now covers almost one point seven million pounds of W-D brand hot dogs, ham, bologna and salami.
[SUPER=03-Madison, FL; ]
The packing plant, located in Madison, Florida is believed to have the Listeria mono-cyto-genes bacteria.
The meat was sold in supermarkets in 14 states including Virginia.
It can be returned to local stores for a full refund.
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A Nebraska company is recalling more than a half MILLION pounds of beef in 33 state including Virginia.
[SUPER=03-Dakota City, NE;]
IBP Incorporate says a sample of ground beef produced October 22nd at its Dakota City plant was believed to be tainted with the E. Coli bacteria.
A spokesman for the company says no illnesses have been reported.
The U-S Department of Agriculture is testing the meat.
The recall affects ground beef sold in vacuum packed tubes, but does not include any frozen or fresh beef patties.
The bacteria does NOT present a danger to consumers as long as the meat is cooked thoroughly.
In Sports, is a favorite Redskins player about to call it quits?
With that and more here's Mike Stevens.
Welcome folks to the Thursday ticker.
The basketball teams are ready to tip-off the upcoming season in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference.
And Roy Stanley says it should be the usual dogfight to determine a conference winner.
[SUPER=01-Tony Shaver/Hampden-Sydney Head Coach; :15]
[SUPER=01-Page Moir/Roanoke Head Coach; :28]
[SUPER=01-Joe Davis/Lynchburg Head Coach; :49]
[OUT Q=....news 7 sports."]
((The cream of the crop for the third year in a row is the Tigers of Hampden-Sydney coached by Tony Shaver.
As the coaches gathered at the Salem Civic Center, The Tigers were again picked to win the conference with 9 first place votes.))
((TONY SHAVER/HAMPDEN-SYDNEY HEAD COACH:))
((PAGE MOIR/ROANOKE HEAD COACH:))
((Randolph-Macon, Virginia Wesleyan, Roanoke and Emory and Henry complete the top five.
Rounding out the top 10 are Washington and Lee, Eastern Mennonite, Guilford, Bridgewater and Lynchburg.))
((JOE DAVIS/LYNCHBURG HEAD COACH:))
There likely will not be any postseason appearance for the Redskins, and there not be any Darrell Green by the end of this season.
[SUPER=03-Frostburg, MD; :00]
The oldest player on the Redskins admits that he is seriously contemplating retirement at the end of this season.
The 16 year veteran is signed to play through the year 2000, but he admits the 1 and-7 season is wearing on him.
And finally don't forget that the stars of the WCW are in the star city tonight for a big Thunder show at the Civic Center.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke/April 27th; :00]
The rasslin card was listed as a sellout this morning, but we have just received word that the Civic Center has freed u four section of tickets for tonight's event. The show starts at 6:30
We'll have some highlights for you tonight at 11 right here on the Big 7.
Jean will be back with more News 7 at Five right after this.
Have a good night everybody.
[take a break]
Actress Susan Lucci doesn't have an Emmy, but she does have a new pint sized friend.
[SUPER=03-New York, NY;]
It's the Erika Kane doll. You can now take "All My Children's" favorite villian home with you.
The doll will sell for about 60 dollars.
Mattel says it is working on another version of the doll. This one is wearing a wedding dress, significant of course for all the times the character has walked down the aisle on the popular soap opera.