"Case dismissed" before it ever got started.
Coming up on NEWS 7 at SIX, the first of the Virginia Tech football players
goes to court.
We'll explain why this case got punted.
And "Carry Me Back to Old Virginny" still has throws backs to slavery...
we'll review the latest attempts to fix it.
Tonight in sports, the express have to move tomorrow night's game with
Knoxville, Dale Jarrett races his Dad to the checkered flag, Jose is headed
back to Oakland.
And Desmond Howard takes his place in the Disney hall of fame with this year's
super bowl comercial.
Winter Weather Advisories are still in place for this evening, but any
further precipitation will be on the light side.
The forecast details, and weatherschool are coming up.
The first in the group of Virginia Tech football players to stand trial for
a campus brawl last August DIDN'T.
Instead, the assault and battery charge against Greg Melvin was DISMISSED.
Tracy Altizer reports.
IN Q=Former Tech football player
SUPER=01-Phil Keith/Montgomery Co. Prosecutor; :10
SUPER=01-Bev Davis/Melvin's Lawyer; :25
OUT Q=Altizer, News 7.
(( Former Tech football player Greg Melvin was charged in the assault of Tech
track athlete Hilliard Sumner.
But Sumner has now made it clear that Melvin didn't hit him.
((PHIL KEITH/MONTGOMERY CO. PROSECUTOR: THEREFORE WE FELT IT WOULD BE IN THE
BEST INTEREST OF JUSTICE NOT TO PROSECUTE MR. MELVIN. ))
Not to mention the best interest of Greg Melvin, says his lawyer, Bev Davis.
Davis says Melvin was a victim of guilt by association.
((BEV DAVIS/MELVIN'S LAWYER: JUST BECAUSE HE'S THERE PRESENT AT THE SCENE AND
IS EASILY RECOGNIZABLE HE GETS CHARGED. AND IT'S UNFORTUNATE BECAUSE EVERYTHING
HE DID THAT NIGHT WAS WHOLLY INNOCENT CONDUCT. ))
((GREG MELVIN: I FEEL GOOD, I CAN GET ON WITH MY LIFE NOW. ))
In a taped conversation with Davis, Sumner says he thought Melvin would've
been charged in the attack of Sumner's companion, Jonathan Nelson.
Sumner went on to name his own attackers.
((VOICE OF HILLIARD SUMNER/ALLEGED BEATING VICTIM: AND THAT WAS BRIAN EDMONDS,
SEAN SULLIVAN, MICHAEL HAWKES AND ANGELO HARRISON. ))
Harrison still awaits trial on a felony attempted malicious wounding charge
stemming from the fight.
The others, along with Cornell Brown, Tyron Edmond and Nathaniel Williams
are charged with assault and battery.
Prosecutor Keith says he DOES plan to proceed with those cases.
Tracy Altizer, News 7.))
A Campbell County man faces malicious wounding charges following a shooting
near Evington this morning.
Authorities responded to this trailer home on Route 673 around 7:15.
That's where they found 38-year-old Edward Lee Miller of Madison Heights on
the ground outside the trailer.. he'd been shot in the chest and arm.
Miller was taken to Lynchburg General Hospital where he's listed in serious
Police arrested 28- year- old Kevin Lewis Epperson at the scene and charged
him with the shooting.
Investigators believe Epperson hid underneath the porch and waited for
Miller to come out.
IN Q=It appears he
((CAPT. MIKE HARRIS/CAMPBELL CO. SHERIFF'S DEPT.: IT APPEARS HE WAS THERE PRIOR
TO THE VICTIM COMING OUT OF THE HOUSEHOLD. AT THAT TIME, ONCE HE HAD AN
OPPORTUNITY TO SHOOT, HE BEGAN THE ATTACK ON THE VICTIM. Reporter: What kind
of weapons did you find at the scene? WE HAVE INFORMATION AND HAVE SEIZED SOME
ITEMS THAT INDICATE A RIFLE AND A HANDGUN WERE USED IN THE ASSAULT.))
SUPER=01-Capt. Mike Harris/Campbell Co. Sheriff's Dept.; :00
OUT Q=in the assault.
Harris says the shooting apparently stemmed from a domestic dispute between
the two men.
Epperson is being held without bond.
Christopher Saul was ordered to serve a 42- year prison term today for
beating a man to death a year ago.
Saul used two different weapons to fatally beat 26-year-old Christopher
The victim had given Saul a ride to the garage where he worked.
Saul took the witness stand today to apologize for his actions, claiming
Wilson made sexual advances and that that prompted him to over-react.
Judge Roy Willett focused on the brutality of the crime, which he said
could have supported a capital murder charge.
Saul got 35 years to serve on the first-degree murder conviction, plus 7
years for the robbery.
A man convicted of assaulting four police officers took his case before a
Steven Leftwich is appealing his district court conviction.
Today, Roanoke police officers and a State Trooper testified about the
confrontation a year ago when Leftwich's car was stopped for a broken tail
The fight broke out after an officer found marijuana in the car, and asked
Leftwich to get out.
SOT tape 4 2:31:00
IN Q=when Mr. Leftwich
((R.J. CARPENTIERY/VA. STATE POLICE; WHEN MR. LEFTWICH BECAME AGRESSIVE OUT
THERE AT THE SCENE, THIS IS HOW I WAS, AND I WARNED HIM THAT IF HE DIDN'T CALM
DOWN AND STOP RESISTING THAT HE WOULD BE PEPPER SPRAYED.))
SUPER=01-R.J. Carpentiery/Va. State Police;
OUT Q=would be pepper-sprayed
But the defense say the officers were the aggressors, beating, punching and
kicking a defenseless victim.
SOT tape 3 2:18:46
IN Q=were you looking
((VOICE OF HAROLD BARNES/DEFENSE ATTORNEY; WERE YOU LOOKING FOR A FIGHT THAT
WHERE YOU LOOKING TO FIND SOMETHING IN MR. LEFTWICH'S CAR THAT NIGHT OFFICER?
SUPER=02-Harold Barnes/Defense Attorney;
OUT Q=no sir
Police say they did hit and kick Leftwich, as he tried to pull an officer's
gun out of it's holster.
The trial will continue tomorrow.
GRAPHIC=Hold Legal Scales
A woman shot in the leg last year by Christiansburg Police has filed a five-
million dollar lawsuit against the town and the officer who fired the shots.
Stella Arcaro called 9-1-1 last April. She was depressed, threatening to
Her lawyer says she specifically told the dispatcher NOT to send police
Half a dozen town police responded to the townhouse, anyway.
When Arcaro stepped out the back door carrying a rifle, Officer Alicia Smith
fired five rounds.
((IT WAS INVESTIGATED BY STATE POLICE AND THEY FOUND NO EVIDENCE THAT SHE EVER
POINTED THE RIFLE AT THEM.))
((JUST THE FACT THAT A PERSON HAS A GUN, DOES NOT GIVE ANYBODY THE RIGHT TO
SHOOT THEM. ))
SUPER=01-Bill Cruey/Arcaro's Attorney;
OUT Q=right to shoot them
Arcaro was convicted of reckless handling of a firearm.
Her complaint was filed in federal court this afternoon.
HARD MUSIC UNDER
Still to come on our newscast, Lynchburg police believe they've solved a
series of armed robberies,
and the battle over the state song continues as lawmakers try to find some
harmony in Richmond.
wx ad lib
MUSIC UP FULL
SUPER=82-1.61''/minus 0.55''/1.61/minus 0.55'';
SUPER=83-Down 0.20 foot/Down 0.51 foot;Lake levels
An early morning fire caused heavy damage to a Northwest Roanoke home.
Firefighters arrived at this house shortly after two a-m to find that flames
had engulfed the upper portion of the home.
The house- which is on the 22-hundred block of Hanover Avenue- was unoccupied
and was in the process of being remodeled.
Firefighters say this is the second fire at the house in recent months, and
this blaze caused several thousand dollars in damages.
A faulty kerosene heater apparently sparked a blaze that damaged a Lynchburg
home this morning.
Around 11:30, firefighters arrived at 227 Denver Avenue to find heavy smoke
pouring from the second floor of the wood-frame building.
Crews had the blaze under control in a matter of minutes, but spent about an
hour clearing the house of smoke.
Fire marshal Mike Thomas says a kerosene heater left on in an upstairs
bathroom apparently overheated.
Fire damage was contained to the second floor of the house.
No one was home when the fire broke out.
Lynchburg police believe they've nabbed two men responsible for a series of
armed robberies across central Virginia over the past month.
22- year- old Roderick Q. Payne and 18- year- old Darrel A. White were
picked up late last night.
Payne is believed to be the gunman who held up three restaurants in the
Timberlake Road and Fort Avenue areas of Lynchburg.
White is charged with robbing a Domino's Pizza restaurant last night.
The pair also face armed robbery charges in Campbell and Amherst Counties.
The arrests came after a victim in last night's Domino's robbery was able to
pick White out of a photo lineup.
It will do NO harm.
That's the legal opinion of Attorney General -- and Republican candidate for
governor -- Jim Gilmore on the controversial parents' rights amendment.
Actual debate of the amendment was put off for another day in Virginia's
But Gilmore has finally weighed in on the side of the Christian Coalition
and the Family Foundation.
IN Q=The law
((JIM GILMORE/VA. ATTORNEY GENERAL: THE LAW HAS MADE IT CLEAR THAT ALL OF
THESE PROTECTIVE DEVICES FOR CHILDREN REMAIN IN PLACE, ESPECIALLY UNDER
LANGUAGE LIKE THIS. AND I THINK IT'S IMPORTANT THAT WE STAND UP FOR THE
PARENTS OF VIRGINIA AND MAKE IT CLEAR THAT THEY'RE ABLE TO RAISE THEIR CHILDREN
PROPERLY AND REASONABLY.))
The amendment would guarantee parents the fundamental right to direct the
upbringing and education of their children.
Critics -- who are mostly Democrats -- say it could invite a firestorm of
lawsuits against teachers and social workers over issues such as school
curriculum and child abuse.
Democratic Lieutenant Governor Don Beyer opposes the bill in its present
That means it could be an issue in the all-but-certain race for governor
between Beyer and Gilmore this year.
The effort to get rid of personal property taxes in Virginia may be over
Manassas Democratic Senator Chuck Colgan says he plans to withdraw his bill
in the face of stiff opposition from local government leaders.
Colgan's bill would have eliminated the tax on cars, boats, and other such
But it would have raised the state sales tax.
The politically popular cut could be revived as part of another budget
proposal this year.
On Wall Street today, the stock market continued last week's retreat as
rising interest rates forced bond prices lower.
The DOW lost 36 points, closing for the day at 66-hundred-61.
NASDAQ was down as well, losing 11 points.
"Carry Me Back To Old Virginia" may be on the eve of retirement by the state
Ellen Qualls details the kind of raw emotions the state song conjures up
year after year.
IN Q=Take out
SUPER=01-Sen. Emmett Hanger/(R) Augusta Co.; :11
SUPER=01-Sen. Henry Marsh/(D) Richmond; :19
SUPER=01-Sen. Benjamin Lambert/(D) Richmond; :35
SUPER=01-Sen. Dick Saslaw/(D) Springfield; 1:08
OUT Q=Qualls, News 7, RIchmond.
(( Take out the word darky and insert dreamer.
That's one of the changes that Augusta County Republican Emmett Hanger
thought would make "Carry Me Back" a song Virginians could sing again with
((SEN. EMMETT HANGER: ARE THERE ANY WORDS OR PHRASES WITHIN THE VERSION THAT I
JUST READ THAT YOU WOULD STILL FIND OBJECTIONABLE?))
((SEN. HENRY MARSH: JUST TO CHANGE A FEW PHRASES DOESN'T CHANGE THE MEMORY OF
THE SONG, AND THE ERA IN WHICH THE SONG WAS WRITTEN, AND THE MESSAGE THAT THE
SONG'S INTENDED TO CONVEY. YOU MIGHT TAKE DARKIES OUT OF THE SONG, BUT IN THE
MINDS OF MANY PEOPLE WHO SING THE SONG, THE IDEA WILL STILL BE THERE.))
((SEN. BENJAMIN LAMBERT: JUST LET THE SONG REST LIKE IT IS, AND FORGET IT.
ONE DAY, SOMEONE WILL COME UP WITH A SONG THAT WE ALL CAN SING. BUT WE CANNOT
FIX "CARRY ME BACK TO OLD VIRGINIA.))
Hanger's defense of what he called a pretty tune was destined to fail.
But the plan to gracefully retire it as the state song "emeritus" could fail
Steve Newman and Louis Lucas's compromise would follow the retirement with a
commission to find a new song.
Political elders remember similar efforts in the 1980's.
((SEN. DICK SASLAW: SOME OF 'EM SOUNDED LIKE REJECTS FROM THE GONG SHOW. THE
SONGS WERE TERRIBLE. ...GET OUR TOP-NOTCH TALENT INVOLVED IN THIS PROCESS.))
Get out your banjos Virginia.
Ellen Qualls, News 7, Richmond.))
Coming up tonight in sports, we'll hear from Desmond Howard, the former
Redskin - who is now a Super Bowl MVP.
Plus, Jose Canseco may be heading back West,
And I'll show you a very interesting NASCAR race held this off-season between
the Jarrett's - Ned and Dale.
Express fans listen up!
Tomorrow night's home game with the Knoxville Cherokees has been moved to
Wednesday night because of some ice making problems at the Roanoke Civic
SUPER=03-Roanoke/October 20, 1994;
a mechanical problem with the Civic Center's refrigeration system, similar to
the one experienced back in October of 1994 when a gasket interrupted ice
making is causing a few headaches.
Civic Center officials say the ice that was in place over the weekend lacked
the key ingredient known as glycol.
The bad ice was removed early Sunday morning, the system has been repaired
and new ice is being made at this hour.
The Packers and Patriots are back home tonight resting, celebrating and
wondering how a man who barely weighs 180 pounds and isn't close to six feet
tall could created so much havoc.
SUPER=03-New Orleans, LA/FOX; :00
Desmond Howard, the former Redskins set a Super bowl record with 244 return
yards. including this 99 yard kickoff return for a TD.
Howard is the first special teams player to win MVP honors.
IN Q="We were...
((MIKE HOLMGREN/PACKERS HEAD COACH:))
((DESMOND HOWARD/SUPER BOWL MVP:))
SUPER=01-Mike Holmgren/Packers Head Coach; :00
SUPER=01-Desmond Howard/Super Bowl MVP; :24
OUT Q=...ALL YEAR LONG."
Of course no Super Bowl is complete without the Disneyworld commercial and
this year MVP Desmond Howard got to share the moment with a number of Green Bay
IN Q=AUDIO FULL
SUPER=04-Disney Commercial; ;00
OUT Q=...SHOT FREEZES.
They were selling Packers championship T-shirts and hats before the game even
ended in New Orleans last night.
But that's no big deal, because we have all grown accustomed to getting
souvenirs on the streets in conjunction with the final horn.
SUPER=03-Milwaukee, WI; :00
But this is a bit unusual! The folks at the Miller Brewing Company in
Milwaukee were up all night cranking out commemorative cans of Miller Lite.
The one of a kind, limited edition cans are expected to hit store shelves by
the end of the week.
The NASCAR road warriors are getting set to return to Daytona next week in
preparation for the Busch Clash and the 500.
pinnacle page --
All of the preseason winter testing is now over, and the five fastest cars of
the tests are a little surprising.
John Andretti lead the way with a lap at 189 and a half miles an hour.
But of the other four, only Marlin usually dominates at the beach.
SUPER=03-Concord, NC; :00
Dale Jarrett, last year's winner was 13th fastest in the preseason, but he
did win a race against his Dad.
Earlier this month, Dale raced his Dad Ned at the Charlotte Motor Speedway.
And Ned earned some respect as he drove an authentic 1963 Galaxy, and then
let dale try his hand at the old stuff.
IN Q=sure give...
((DALE JARRETT/QUALITY CARE FORD DRIVER:))
((NED JARRETT/FORMER NASCAR CHAMPION:))
SUPER=01-Dale Jarrett/Quality Care Ford Driver; :00
SUPER=01-Ned Jarrett/Former NASCAR Champion; : :24
OUT Q=...STILL HARD WORK."
A big trade is in the works tonight in the major leagues.
The Oakland A's have called a newsconference for this evening, and reports
from the Bay area indicate that will announce that Jose Canseco is returning to
the A's and leaving the Redsox.
The Reds will get righthander John Wasdin in return.
The Cincinnati Reds announced today that they have signed free agent
infielder Terry Pendleton to a one year minor league contract. Terms of the
deal were not disclosed.
The 36 year old switch hitter hit .238 with 11 homers and 75 RBI's in 153
games with the Florida Marlins and the Atlanta Braves last season. The Reds
hope that Pendleton, who has played for the Cardinals as well as the Marlins
and Braves, will bring veteran leadership to the team.
SUPER=330-Mixed Precipitation/Changing to Rain/32-36/Rain Ending/Blustery and
SUPER=331-Scattered Rain/Showers/35-39/Rain Ending/Windy & Cold/46-50;
SUPER=332-Rain Mixed/With Sleet/33-37/Rain Ending/Sharply Colder/33-37;
SUPER=333-Mixed Precipitation/Changing to Rain/32-35/Rain Ending/Sharply
SUPER=334-Light Mixed/Precipitation/33-37/Rain Ends/Sharply Colder/33-37;