He testified against his co-defendant and is implicated in racist hate crime.
On NEWS-7 at SIX- -an exclusive post-trial interview with Louie Ceparano.
And lawyers in trouble- -two of them facing charges.
Tonight in sports, the Hokies prepare for a huge trip to the dome in Syracuse this weekend, another Rassler jumps in the politcial ring.
And we'll have more on the VMI football coaching situation as we talk with Athletic director Donny White.
A powerful snow storm in the midwest will bring strong winds and rain to southwest and central Virginia. More on that just ahead.
The man whose testimony helped convict Emmett Cressell, Junior says he's relieved Cressell did NOT get the death penalty.
At the same time, Louie Ceparano is apprehensive about his own future once he leaves the Grayson County jail to serve life in prison.
Teresa Hamilton spoke exclusively with Ceparano by phone from the Grayson County jail...
What is he concerned about?
Ceparano says he's NOT scared but does spend time thinking about what it will be like once he enters the state prison system...
Afterall-- there may be a lot of angry prisoners who aren't too happy about the racial allegations attached to the case.
[SUPER=02-Louie Ceparano; :00]
[OUT Q=any nationality.]
[IN Q=I'm not]
((LOUIE CEPARANO:I'M NOT REALLY SCARED AS MORE IN A SENSE THAT I AM POSSIBLY CONFRONTING SOME FOLKS WHO MAY IN FACT HAVE FORMED THEIR OWN OPINION AND THINK THAT I WAS A GUILTY. ))
[OUT Q=was guilty.]
Ceparano says he's NOT too concerned for his safety because he believes he's an easy person to get along with.
He just hopes he'll get a chance to explain his side of the story.
Prosecutors say Ceparano and Cressell acted together in killing "G-P" Johnson.
The former marine was doused with gasoline and set on fire.
Ceparano admits he was high on a mixture of alcohol and drugs and can't remember everything.
But told the jury last week-- he's NOT the violent type-- that it had to be Emmett Cressell, Junior.
[IN Q=I do]
((I DO FEEL THAT MY TESTIMONY WAS BENEFICIAL TO THE CASE AGAINST CRESSELL.))
[OUT Q=against Cressell.]
Cressell escaped the threat of the death penalty-- when he was convicted of first degree murder last week.
The Department of Justice has since contacted Grayson County's prosecutor.
Federal officials are currently looking into whether the case should be deemed a hate crime.
So far, a decision has not been made.
[IN Q=I personally]
((LOUIE CEPARANO:I PERSONALLY DON'T THINK THEY'LL BE ABLE TO PROVE THE HATE CRIME IN THE FACT THAT GP WAS MY FRIEND AND THAT I CAN PROVE I'M NOT A RACIST TOWARD ANY NATIONALITY. ))
[OUT Q=any nationality.]
While Ceparano continues to maintain he's innocent-- we should point out prosecutors say they have overwhelming evidence of his guilt.
By the way-- Ceparano was hoping to withdraw his plea agreement.
[DOUBLE BOXES=TERESA/KEITH ]
But late today-- we learned that won't be a possibility--
That the time to appeal-- has already passed.
A Pittsylvania County jury is deliberating the fate of an accused murderer at this hour.
Quentin Lamont Stephens is charged with first degree murder for the shooting death of Delvecchio Farmer in October 1997.
According to the prosecution, the shooting happened while a group of men attempted to rob the victim of drugs and money.
Stephens took the witness stand today in his own defense.
He testified he thought the other men just wanted to buy drugs from Farmer... not kill him.
((QUENTIN STEPHENS/DEFENDANT: WE GOT CLOSE TO THE HOUSE. NOBODY SHOWED ANY MONEY.... BY THAT TIME THAT'S WHEN I STARTED SEEING THE GUNS AND THEY ASKED ME TO KNOCK ON THE DOOR AND I REFUSED.))
[OUT Q=and I refused.]
[SUPER-04=October 21, 1997;]
Stephens says he wasn't there when the men went back to Farmer's trailer later that night and exchanged gunfire.
If he's found guilty, Stephens could spend life in prison.
Giles County Prosecutor Garland Spangler has more legal problems.
Someone filed an anonymous complaint against him with the State Bar.
It's the second time someone has made allegations against Spangler. The first complaint is still pending.
The latest complaint came to light this week because Judge Duane Mink appointed the Roanoke law firm of Gentry Locke Rakes and Moore to represent Spangler- -at taxpayer's expense.
Spangler has been in legal trouble for more than a year.
It came out when rape charges had to be dropped because Spangler missed the deadline to prosecute the case.
Former Regional Drug Prosecutor Jeff Rudd has apparently made peace with his girlfriend, but he'll still be prosecuted for trying to killing her.
Melanie Elmir was prepared to testify at Rudd's preliminary hearing today,
but Rudd waved his right to hear the evidence against him... so the case was automatically certified to Circuit Court for trial.
Rudd was arrested in July for attempted murder
A separate misdemeanor charge of verbal assault was dismissed today.
Rudd and his girlfriend left the courthouse together after the hearing.[Earley-Klan]
The state attorney general's office will help prosecute a man charged with burning a cross in Carroll County.
[SUPER=03-Ebensburg, PA/May 1992]
Barry Black of Johnstown Pennsylvania says that the case should be dismissed because it intrudes on free speech.
Mark Earley's office and prosecutor Greg Goad will argue that the state law is constitutional and that intimidation can never be considered free speech.
Black's attorney is David Baugh, a member of the state A-C-L-U.
A hearing is set for Friday.
[HARD MUSIC UNDER]
Beware the crafty caller.
Coming up on NEWS 7 at SIX: it's more than a dial tone they're after... they may be using your firm for a long-distance call.
And we'll hear from a man who hears horses.
He says his psychic powers help him understand horses.
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[MUSIC UP FULL]
[SUPER=82-0.53''/minus 0.49''/42.38''/plus 6.39'';]
[SUPER=83-Down 4.91 feet/Down 2.05 feet;Lake levels][Phone-Scam]
It's one of the older tricks in the book, and scam artists are up to it again.
They're billing long-distance calls to businesses where they don't work.
[WIPE TO PINNACLE BOARD]
Bell Atlantic says: Watch out for people who call your business, pretending to be phone company employees.
They tell you they're testing the phones.
Then they ask you to punch a few numbers to connect them to an operator.
What they're really doing is using an outside line for long-distance calls and sticking your company with the bill.
Bell Atlantic says you should be cautious if someone calls your business;
REAL phone technicians can test phone lines without your help.
If you think you've been the victim of a scam artist, you should call Bell Atlantic or your long distance company.[
Lynchburg may soon have its OWN controversy brewing over a proposed Home Depot store.
A Northern Virginia company wants to turn this 65- acre tract of land near the Lynchburg Expressway into a major shopping center.. with Home Depot as the centerpiece.
But some residents say the project would create too much traffic congestion and damage the environment.
They'll have their say at a public hearing during tonight's city council meeting.
Some local students can now see and talk to Northern Virginia students without ever leaving the classroom.
Administrators say this kind of technology will draw jobs to the area.
Tina Tenret watched the students in action.
[IN Q=The faces of]
[SUPER=03-Franklin Co.; :00]
[SUPER=03-Fairfax, VA; :11]
[SUPER=01-Ed Barnes/New River Community College; 1:02]
The faces of Franklin County students lit up when they heard their Northern Virginia counterparts say hello.
[IN Q=Hi I'm Rahab]
((HI I'M RAHAB. I'M A FRESHMAN HERE AT T-J.))
[OUT Q=here at T-J.]
They could also SEE the Northern Virginia kids -- thanks to new technology from a group called the New Century Public Education Consortium.
Now these scientists can exchange data.
[IN Q=Are you finding]
((ARE YOU FINDING A LOT OF INCREASES IN PHOSPHATES AND NITRATES IN THE RUNOFF FROM VEGETABLE GARDENS?))
[OUT Q=VEGETABLE GARDENS]
See, students at the Center for Applied Technology and Career Exploration in Franklin County use a NATURAL wetland to study soil and water quality.
In contrast -- Northern Virginia students fight so much pollution, they build artificial wetlands instead.
[IN Q=Our team]
((THIS WETLAND IS GOING TO RECEIVE THE WATER RUNOFF, ENVIRONMENTALLY MEDIATE THE WATER SO THE OUTGOING WATER WILL HAVE IMPROVED WATER QUALITY.))
[OUT Q=IMPROVED WATER QUALITY]
Local business leaders say these computer savvy students will attract hi-tech jobs to the area.
[IN Q=Personally I would]
((ED BARNES/NEW RIVER COMMUNITY COLLEGE: PERSONALLY I WOULD LIKE TO SEE US TRAIN OUR YOUNG PEOPLE SO THEY DON'T HAVE TO GO TO THE PIEDMONT TRIAD OR NORTHERN VIRGINIA, AT LEAST FOR THOSE FOLKS WHO WANT TO STAY AT HOME. AND THAT'S EXACTLY WHERE WE'D LIKE TO HAVE EM, AT HOME.))
[OUT Q=AT HOME]
The New Century Public Education Consortium is also training high school students to become computer programmers at New River Community College.
Tina Tenret News7 Franklin County.
A second straight down day for the Dow.
[TAKE DOW & NASDAQ PAGE ]
It fell 34 points. But for the second straight day, NASDAQ gained four and a half.
[ AE /ATT/Bank of America/Bell/Columbia;]
[Crestar/Dana/Dimon/Dominion Resources/First Union;]
[First Virginia/General Electric/Kroger/Norfolk Southern/Optical Cable]
[phillip morris/roanoke electric steel/trigon/wachovia/walmart]
Roanoke City Health Department officials are looking into a possible spread of tuberculosis at a meat packaging plant, but we must caution up front, there is NO threat posed by the food processed there.
The health department tested workers from Holbrook Enterprises, and found that 9 employees out of 35 tested positive for T-B infection.
[SOT ub 13 22 58]
[IN Q=We found that ]
((DR. MOLLY RUTLEDGE/ALLEGHANY-ROANOKE HEALTH DIRECTOR: WE FOUND THAT THERE WERE A NUMBER OF INDIVIDUALS IN THAT WORKPLACE WHO WERE BORN IN COUNTRIES WHERE TUBERCULOSIS IS MUCH MORE PREVALENT THAN IT IS HERE, SO THE EMPLOYER SAID LET TAKES A PPD SKIN TEST ON TUBERCULOSIS ON EVERYBODY.))
[SUPER=01-Dr. Molly Rutledge/Alleghany-Rke. Health Dir.; ]
Tuberculosis is spread from person to person in the air when an infected person coughs or sneezes.
Doctor Rutledge says it CANNOT contaminate meat at the plant.
There is NO cause for concern of getting TB from food.
Last year a total of seven TB cases were reported in the Roanoke Valley.
The horse psychic has gone mainstream.
Virginia's only parimutuel horse track has embraced the man it used to eye suspiciously around the stables.
Ellen Qualls has the story.
[IN Q=We first]
[SUPER=01-Ian Stewart/Colonial Downs; :04]
[SUPER=01-Bill Northern/"Horse Psychic"; :18]
[SUPER=03-New Kent Co.; :38]
[OUT Q=Qualls, News 7, New Kent County.]
(( We first told you about Bill Northern in July.
[sot tape one 23:49:52]
((IAN STEWART/COLONIAL DOWNS: MY UNDERSTANDING IS THAT HE CAN SPEAK TO THE ANIMALS. AND THEY SPEAK TO HIM.))
Okay-- that was the head honcho at Colonial Downs talking about Northern on the day the track invited the self-proclaimed "horse psychic" to read the field for this week's big race.
[sot TAPE TWO 55:02]
((IT SEEMS LIKE HE MAY HAVE HAD A LITTLE BIT ROUGHER TRIP LAST WEEK THAN HE PARTICULARLY WANTED. I DON'T KNOW. HE'S TELLING ME THAT IT WAS A LITTLE BIT ROUGH. WHAT ELSE YOU WANT TO KNOW?))
Virginia's only horse race track may care less what the horses think-- and more that you're noticing they have harness racing's premier event, the Breeders Crown, this weekend.
[sot TAPE ONE 01:03:17]
((IT LOOKS LIKE IT'S POSSIBLE THAT HE'S HAD A LITTLE SPLINT ON THAT LEFT SIDE... JUST GOES TO SHOW WHAT OWNERS KNOW. THE OWNER SAID HE'S LAME ON THE RIGHT FRONT. I BELIEVE YOU BILL.))
Bill Northern even claims to feel the pain of horses on the other side of the earth.
He uses a "visible horse" model -- and the pendulum through which the voices speak.
[sot TAPE TWO 01:23:53]
((BILL NORTHERN/"HORSE PSYCHIC": AND THEN WE FOUND OUT THAT IT COMES THROUGH WHAT WE CALL THIS THIRD EYE. AND THEN THERE'S A SOLAR PLEXUS. AND IT DOES STUDIES THAT SHOW IF YOU COVER THIS THIRD EYE WITH LEAD OR THE SOLAR PLEXUS WITH LEAD, YOU DON'T DOUSE ANYWHERE NEAR AS WELL.))
So why do seemingly sane horse trainers PAY this man to interpret their horses' moods?
Don't forget-- there's big money at the end of race when the horse was happy and the muscles were limber.
And that makes everyone happy.
Ellen Qualls, News 7, New Kent County.))
We'll hear from VMI athletic director Donny White, meet the first candidate for president from the sporting arena this year,
and check in with Roy Stanley at Virginia Tech where the Hokies hope a special effort can give Frank Beamer his first win in the Carrier Dome this weekend.
VMI football is trying to move forward today, the day after head coach Ted Cain was fired a game before the end of the season.
[WIPE TO PINNACLE BOARD OF VMI]
But finding a quick fix coach will not be easy.
Cain and his predecessor Bill Stewart both struggled in their first two seasons, but so too did VMI coaching icons Bob Thalman and John McKenna. None of the four had a winning record in his first two years.
[IN Q="It's gonna...]
[SUPER=01-Donny White/VMI Athletic Director; :00]
[OUT Q=...that person."]
[vo nat con't]
White played and coached at VMI but times have changed in the last 20 years.
This year VMI has been outscored 432 to 137 through 10 games.
The Big East championship could be on the line when Virginia Tech travels to Syracuse to play the Orangemen in the Carrier Dome this Saturday.
That's the same Carrier Dome in which the Hokies have never won in the Frank Beamer era.
But Roy Stanley says things could change this weekend.
[IN Q="With a...]
[SUPER=03-Blacksburg/Tech vs West Virginia; :00]
[SUPER=01-Frank Beamer/Virginia Tech Head Coach; :58]
[SUPER=01-Loren Johnson/Virginia Tech Cornerback; :58]
[SUPER=01-Lorenzo Ferguson/Virginia Tech Linebacker; 1:14]
[OUT Q=....news 7 sports."]
((With a win over West Virginia two weeks ago the Hokies put themselves in the position to win The Big East championship.
But in order to do that the Hokies must travel to Syracuse and beat the Orangemen in the Carrier Dome.
Tech has had an extra week to prepare and Syracuse has to rebound from a loss to West Virginia last Saturday night.))
((FRANK BEAMER/VIRGINIA TECH HEAD COACH:))
((Tech's defense is one of the tops in the Big East and in the Country. In the win over West Virginia the Hokies blocked two kicks and returned one for a touchdown.
The Hokies also had a pair of third quarter defensive stands and the intercepted four Marc Bulger passes.
And the Hokies will need that kind of defensive pressure in order to stop Syrcause quarterback Donovan McNabb.))
((LOREN JOHNSON/VIRGINIA TECH CORNERBACK;))
((LORENZON FERGUDON/VIRGINIA TECH LINEBACKER:))
[TAPE#=SP-22 1:16 :06]
In college basketball, Virginia Tech center Clinton McPherson will miss the remainder of the season due to a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his right knee.
[SUPER=03-Roanoke Co.; :00]
Tomorrow is national signing day for basketball and, on the womens side, Glenvar all state performer Katrina Williams, who has been watching the Lady Hokies practice, will sign with Virginia Tech.
[SUPER=01-Katrina Williams/Signs with Tech Tomorrow; :00]
[OUT Q=...everyone else"]
A big trade is in the works in the big leagues this afternoon. The Braves are sending Denny Neagle, Michael Tucker and a minor leaguer to the Reds for Bret Boone and Mike Remlinger.
Earlier today, the Baseball writer's of America voted Ben Grieve the American League rookie of the year.
Grieve hit 288 for the A's with 18 homers and 89 rbis.
[WIPE TO ENG#!!!!!!!]
And finally tonight, another rassler has thrown his hat into the squared circle.
Riding the coat tails of Jesse Ventura's win in Minnesota, Hollywood Hogan officially announced last night at the Na
ssau Coliseum in Union Dale, New York that he is running for President in the year 2000.
His campaign slogan is a "Regular person fighting the problems of Regular Americans."
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[GRAPHIC=Conceiving a Miracle]
Coming up tonight on News 7 at 11 -- a special report on infertility, one that many couples may find very helpful.
[Double Box=Keith & Jean Newsroom]
Jean Jadhon is in our newsroom now with more.
Keith, some of the newest innovative techniques in reproductive treatment are bringing new hopes for many people.
But Roanoke fertility specialists say money is one of the biggest obstacles facing couples coping with infertility.
[SOT 00 00 50]
[IN Q=A lot of insurance]
((RANDY ZELENAK/PATIENT'S HUSBAND: A LOT OF INSURANCE COMPANIES WON'T COVER THAT LIKE THEY WILL REGULAR ILLNESS IT'S NOT A NECESSARY ITEM TO HAVE A KID, SO THEY DON'T VIEW IT AS NEEDED A HEART TRANSPLANT WHEN NOT HAVING A CHILD COULD BREAK YOUR HEART.))
[OUT Q=break your heart]
[TAKE FULL SCREEN PINNACLE #4670]
Our special report, "Conceiving a Miracle", tonight on News 7 at 11.
[DOUBLE BOX=Keith & Jean/Newsrom]
Keith, we'll have much more information that could help many couples who want so much to bring a baby into their liv
A Grayson County girl gave it her best, but she'll have to wait another year to be crowned the country's top Oreo stacker.
[OUT Q=Ready, steady, stack!]
[SUPER=03-Orlando, FL/Courtesy: Nabisco;]
Ten boys and girls put their skills and concentration to the test today in Florida, as they went for "national titles" in two age groups. Among the five finalists in the 7-and-under category, Lana Redd of Fries.
Lana did not win, which is too bad, because each winner got a 20-thousand dollar savings bond, and a year's supply of Oreos.
(Weekday 6 only)
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(Weekend 6 only)