A judge in Roanoke County has followed the jury's lead and handed down a
death sentence in the case of Earl Bramblett.
Judge Roy Willett said he found it difficult to do, but he praised the jury
that convicted Bramblett last month, despite Bramblett's insistence- -even
today- -that's he's innocent.
((I'M JUST GOING TO SAY ONE MORE TIME FOR THE RECORD: I DID NOT KILL THE HODGES
SUPER=01-Earl Bramblett/Condemned Killer;
OUT Q=the Hodges family.
The jury had found Bramblett
SUPER=03-Vinton/August 29, 1994
guilty of killing Teresa and Blaine Hodges, and their two children, then
setting their house on fire.
Bramblett had lived with the family off and on for years.
IN Q=It shows cowardice
((IT SHOWS COWARDICE. HE DOESN'T EVEN HAVE THE GUTS NOW, EVEN AFTER IT'S ALL
SAID AND DONE TO ADMIT WHAT HE HAD DONE. THE COURT CAN FIND AND DOES FIND NO
REASON NOT TO IMPOSE THE PUNISHMENT SUGGESTED BY A JURY OF YOUR PEERS AND
THEREFORE SENTENCES YOU TO DEATH.))
SUPER=01-Don Hodges/Victim's Brother; 00
SUPER=02-Judge Roy Willett/Roanoke Co. Circuit Court; :06
OUT Q=you to death.
Willett set the execution date one year from today to allow time for
appeals- -though that will likely take much longer.
GRAPHIC=ok bombing trial
Jurors in the trial of Oklahoma City bombing suspect Terry Nichols are
listening to more closing arguments this afternoon.
On a posterboard yesterday prosecutors showed jurors what they called
Nichols and Timothy McVeigh's road to destruction,-- a map to help jurors see
the connection between two tons of fertilizer, stolen blasting caps, and the
eventual detonation of the truck bomb outside the federal building.
((JOHN WALSH/FORMER PROSECUTOR:
"THEY HAVE GOT ALL THE RAW MATERIAL THEY NEED TO SECURE A CONVICTION."))
SUPER=01-John Walsh/Former Prosecutor;
OUT Q= They need to secure a conviction.
Today Nichols' lawyers continue to hammer away at the government's case
against their client.
After the prosecution's rebuttal, jurors will receive instructions
from the judge and begin deliberations.
After two days of talks, the Chief U-N arms inspector is on his way home
after failing to convince Saddam Hussein to open his palaces to weapons
Richard Butler left Baghdad for New York this morning.
He will report to the U-N Security Council on Thursday.
Meantime the Iraqi government is ridiculing the Pentagon's decision to
inoculate American troops against anthrax, saying it doesn't possess "even one
gram" of the deadly biological agent.
The U-S fears Iraq may have produced anthrax during the standoff with U-N
Investigators are still searching for the cause of a fire that killed a
Bedford County woman early this morning.
Firefighters were called to this home on Whistling Swan Drive around 3:15.
The blaze started near the garage and quickly spread to the rest of the
IN Q=It was just
((LARRY BARBOUR/FOREST V.F.D. CHIEF: IT WAS JUST FIRE COMING OUT OF EVERY
WINDOW AND EVERY HOLE IN THE HOUSE. SO WE TRIED TO GO TO THE UNBURNED AREA IN
HOPES THAT MAYBE WE COULD LOCATE AND THAT'S WHERE WE FOCUSED AT FOR THE FIRST
PART OF THE MISSION.))
SUPER=01-Larry Barbour/Forest Fire Chief; :00
OUT Q=part of the mission.
The victim has been identified as 73- year- old Barbara Stieglitz
Her body was found in a first floor living room, near the front door.
Fire investigators are still on the scene, hoping to determine what caused
It is NOT considered suspicious.
A Virginia Tech student is in custody charged with setting fire to a
fraternity house near campus.
Twenty-one- year- old Chad Justin (knee-me) Niemi was arrested this morning
by Blacksburg police.
The Kappa Alpha fraternity house on East Roanoke Street was a complete loss.
A student and fire fighter were slightly injured.
Police and fire officials are now exploring a possible connection between
this morning's fire and that of another fraternity house over the summer.
IN Q=Both of
((KEITH BOLTE/BLACKSBURG FIRE DEPT.:BOTH OF THEM ARE ARSON-- WE SUSPECT ARSON
ON BOTH THE FIRES, OTHER THAN THAT, I REALLY COULDN'T COMMENT.))
SUPER=01-Keith Bolte/Blacksburg Fire Department; :00 QUICK!!!
OUT Q=couldn't comment.
Fire fighters were handling another call on campus at the Architecture Annex
when the fraternity house caught fire around two this morning.
One month after being released from prison 26- year- old Dedric Lee Wiley is
back in custody.
He's charged with the last week's hold-up of the Southwest Virginia Savings
Bank on Hershberger Road.
The teller slipped a dye pack in with the almost two-thousand dollars in
The woman he'd been living with in Christiansburg told people Wiley had been
trying to wash something red out of the cash.
Police caught Wiley Sunday, after a chase involving state police,
Christiansburg and Blacksburg police.
Attorney General Janet Reno won't decide whether to prosecute two men for a
hate crime until the murder has been tried here.
Investigators say 40- year- old Garnett Johnson, Junior was doused with
gasoline and set afire, before he was be-headed in Grayson County.
Two white men are charged with his murder.
President Clinton is just two hours away from what's expected to be his last
formal news conference in 19-97.
It will be held at the State Department, where Kennedy used to met the
press, because the White House East room is full of Christmas decorations.
One topic that is expected to come up, his appointment yesterday of Bill Lann
Lee as ACTING assistant attorney general for civil rights.
It's a job Lee will do WITHOUT bipartisan support.
Senate Republicans blocked Lee's confirmation saying he supported racial
((CLINTON:SOME PEOPLE WANT TO WAIT FOR ME TO APPOINT SOMEONE TO THIS POSITION
WHOM I DISAGREE WITH. BUT AMERICA CANNOT AFFORD TO WAIT THAT LONG, AND IT
WOULD BE A LONG WAIT INDEED. ))
OUT Q=long wait indeed.
Other hot topics include the status of troops in Bosnia, the Middle East and
The President also plans to announce the name of his new puppy.
The United Nations says malnutrition today is more lethal than any disease
since the bubonic plague.
It's "State of the World's Children" report says between six and seven
million children die every year from hunger.
It also says that as many as 13 million children in the United States do not
get enough to eat.
The U-S agriculture department is offering its first -ever standards for
The U-S-D-A seal would go on raw products that are entirely organic.
It would also go on processed foods with at least 95 percent organic
The rules would cover foods grown and processed without manufactured
Voters are off to the polls today in a pivotal state senate election in
The winning candidate will fill the vacancy left by Republican Mark Earley
who was elected attorney general last month.
Just yesterday, another vacancy opened in Richmond.
Republican Senator Joe Benedetti
resigned to become director of the state's Department of Criminal Justice in
Jim Gilmore's administration.
His son was Jim Gilmore's campaign finance director.
The G-O-P must keep both seats to maintain a 20-20 tie with Democrats and
give soon-to-be lieutenant governor
John Hager the tie-breaking vote.
Governor Allen's full budget proposal will be out Friday.
Until then he's touring the state giving localities a bit of a preview.
The Virginia Museum of Natural History will get ten million dollars.
Allen expects opposition from some General Assembly members -- this is two
million dollars more than the state would typically give the museum.
But the museum is expanding to a new building which will cost 16 million
Allen says it's worth it.
IN Q=Getting this new museum
((GOV. ALLEN: GETTING THIS NEW MUSEUM IN HERE WILL BE A TREMENDOUS ATTRACTION
FOR THIS AREA. PEOPLE WILL DRIVE FROM MANY MILES AWAY TO SEE IT. AND THEY'LL
COME FROM NORTH CAROLINA, OTHER PARTS OF VIRGINIA, AND OTHER STATES AND THAT'S
WHAT WE WANT TO DO WITH TOURISM.))
OUT Q=do with tourism
Allen also says the new museum will lure industry to Martinsville.
Virginians gave Jim Gilmore the win on election day...but it was
contributors who kept him going on the campaign trail.
Virginia residents weren't the only ones opening their wallets.
Ellen Qualls looks at who else poured money into the Old Dominion.
IN Q=He spent
SUPER=@Beyer; :38 quick!
OUT Q=Qualls News 7.
(( He spent more than any other candidate for governor in Virginia.
But of the 10- point-three dollars Jim Gilmore spent, how much came from
The majority: 72- percent.
But a hefty 28- percent of Gilmore's money poured in from the Republican
National Committee and its various wings -- as well as from individual donors
in 25 other states.
((GOV.-ELECT JIM GILMORE: NATURALLY IN ORDER TO FUND A MAJOR, STATEWIDE
CAMPAIGN IN THE LATE 20TH CENTURY YOU HAVE TO RAISE A LOT OF MONEY. AND WE
DID. WE WERE VERY SUCCESSFUL WITH IT.))
Democrat Don Beyer spent 8-point-7 million dollars... only about ten-percent
from out of state -- mostly because his party's virtually broke.
((DON BEYER: WELL ONE OF THE THINGS I LEARNED IS IT'S VERY BAD TO BE OUTSPENT
TWO TO ONE IN THE LAST TWO WEEKS OF THE CAMPAIGN.))
So how does it work?
And why did it happen?
First you have to remember that only New Jersey and Virginia had major
elections this year.
Then you have to know who people like Heinz Prechter are.
Heinz Prechter's the guy who started putting sunroofs in cars in the 1960s.
Today, the Michigan auto parts magnate is a very good friend of the
Republican National Committee.
The RNC and its committees gave more than 2-point-1 million dollars to Jim
It gave almost 200- thousand to the Republican Party of Virginia -- which
helped Gilmore big time.
Individual donors give money to the RNC -- in the sunroof guy's case, more
than 180- thousand dollars in the last four years.
And then the Gilmore campaign hits up those national donors individually.
So on election day, when Gilmore didn't even need his help, Heinz Prechter
gave five thousand dollars directly to Gilmore.
It's all legal.
It probably won't buy the sunroof guy any influence in Virginia.
But it may in Washington.
And he may sell a few more sunroofs in Virginia if we get rid of that car
Ellen Qualls, News 7.))
GRAPHIC=Roanoke city seal
A new assisted living center is moving into Roanoke's Raleigh Court
community, but that has many residents upset.
Roanoke City Council approved a rezoning request for Manor Care Health
services, which assists patients who are in the early stages of Alzheimer's.
Many residents don't like the commercial infringement in their residential
IN Q=MANOR CARE
((MARYELLEN GOODLATTE/MANOR CARE REPRESENTATIVE: MANOR CARE ASKS FOR THE
OPPORTUNITY TO SERVE A VERY SPECIFIC, AND NOW NEGLECTED PART OF OUR COMMUNITY,
WHO HAVE A VERY GREAT NEED FOR HELP. ))
SUPER=01-Maryellen Goodlatte/Manor Care Representative;
OUT Q=need for help.
The group is purchasing three acres from the Elks 197 Club, which is right
in the middle of Raleigh Court.
Some residents are in FAVOR of the plan.
SOT 20:05:41 tape 2
IN Q=FOR A COMPASSIONATE
((RICHARD HUGHES/RALEIGH COURT RESIDENT: IF THEY CONSTRUCT A FACILITY LIKE
THIS, I THINK YOU'LL BE VERY PLEASED WITH IT. ))
SUPER=01-Richard Hughes/Raleigh Court Resident;
OUT Q=PLEASED WITH IT.
Developers say the 56-bed, single story structure will fit the neighborhood,
while generating an economic impact of nine million dollars over the next few
"Rental Towel Service" isn't letting a fire slow it down, even though it did
gut the downtown Pulaski location.
Teresa Hamilton explains.
IN Q=The fire
SUPER=01-Eddie Linville/Plant Manager; :14
SUPER=01-Albert Upchurch/Rental Towel Co-Owner; :34
SUPER=01-Jennifer Gray/Rental Towel Employee; :1:02
OUT Q=Hamilton, NEWS 7.
(( The fire that spread through "Rental Towel Services" destroyed nearly
everying in its path.
Plant Manager Eddie Linville still gets choked up-- thinking about one of
the few items-- he managed to pull from the rubble.
IN Q=We had
((EDDIE LINVILLE/PLANT MANAGER: WE HAD A BIBLE, THAT'S REALLY SOMETHING, THERE
WAS A BIBLE THAT WAS IN THE FIRE THAT, IT SEEMED LIKE EVERYTHING AROUND IT
BURNED, BUT IT DIDN'T. ))
Linville calls the company's quick turnaround a "Christmas Miracle".
Co-Owner Albert Upchurch says there was never any doubt-- he'd rebuild.
((ALBERT UPCHURCH/RENTAL TOWEL CO-OWNER:I GUESS THE HARDEST PART IS GETTING
AROUND TO SEE ALL THE OUR CUSTOMERS, TO INFORM THEM OF WHAT'S GOING ON, A LOT
OF THEM THINKS WE'VE GONE OUT OF BUSINESS, SOME OF OUR COMPETITORS WILL TELL
THEM THAT WE'RE OUT OF BUSINESS BUT WE'RE CERTAINLY NOT. ))
OUT Q=certainly not.
The owners plan to construct a new building on the original site.
In the meantime-- they've set up temporary headquarters in the Pulaski
County Industrial Park.
So far-- about half of the plant's 75 employees are back at work.
IN Q=We're just
((JENNIFER GRAY/RENTAL TOWEL EMPLOYEE: WE'RE JUST LIKE ONE BIG HAPPY FAMILY,
EACH DEPARTMENT, EVERYBODY'S BEEN STICKING TOGETHER, READY TO GET BACK TO WORK
AND GET THE COMPANY GOING. ))
OUT Q=company going.
The company doesn't have an exact figure figure, just yet, but estimated
damage in excess of a million dollars.
The new building could be fully operational by early March.
Teresa Hamilton, NEWS 7.))
The Christmas season may be filled with decorations, but the Virginia
department of Health says some ornaments are dangerous.
The United States Consumer Product Safety Commission is recalling several
holiday products--some sold in southwest Virginia.
Curtain-style Christmas lights are being taken off the shelves because they
are an electrocution hazard.
To see if you have these indoor/outdoor lights check for the names
"Curtain", Icicle", and "Wonder Lights."
The miniature lights were sold between September 19-95 and November 19-97.
Take Fullscreen Live/Consumer Product Hotline-essC
Consumers with questions about this recall should call the store where they
bought the products, or contact the Consumer Product Safety Commission toll
free hotline at 800-638-2772.
SUPER=301-54/22/South 6mph/30.09f/78/1971/ 8/1951;
SUPER=330-Partly/Cloudy/32-35/Mostly Sunny/& Warm/55-58;
SUPER=331-Partly/Cloudy/33-37/Mostly Sunny/& Warm/56-59;
SUPER=332-Turning/Partly Cloudy/25-28/Partly Cloudy/& Mild/50-55;
Moore's Lumber and Building Supplies has new owners, but now many of the
store's employees are looking for new jobs.
Oklahoma-based Hope Lumber Company bought Moore's.
According to the new owners, Moore's was losing money.
So the Hope Lumber closed 18 of Moore's 50 stores.
Of the four area stores, only the Moore's on Franklin Road will remain open.
One major hockey note this afternoon.
Roanoke Express general manager Pierre Paiement announced today that he will
not renew his contract with the franchise at the end of the season.
Paiement, who is in the middle of his fifth season as the Express G-M, says
he wants to spend more time with his family and pursue other business
His contract runs out in April. He will remain general manager until a
replacement can be found.
He will also remain involved as an owner and a member of the board of
We'll have more on News 7 at five and six.
In Monday night football action,
the 49ers welcomed Jerry Rice back onto the field and retired Joe Montana's
jersey before they charged over the Broncos 34-to-17.
SUPER=03-San Francisco, CA/NFL-ABC Sports;
Rice proved a little knee surgery can't slow him down as he scored the
Niners first T-D, which made him the first N-F-L non-kicker to score
Merton Hanks returned one of John Elway's two interceptions for a 55-yard
score. And Kevin Greene scored on a
40-yard fumble return to cap the scoring.
And San Francisco takes it 34-to-17.
Seven U-N-C football players are in legal hot water.
The Chapel Hill students were charged with misdemeanor assault after a brawl
at a nightclub.
Eighteen- year- old David Beyer reportedly suffered a fractured cheekbone,
bruised ribs, and nerve damage in the incident.
Among the players facing charges are defensive starters Greg Williams and
No word yet if this will affect the team's Bowl roster.
Friday Football Extra's team of the year, the William Fleming Colonels
were formally honored by city council for their outstanding season.
Mayor Bowers presented proclamations, and pins to the whole team.
SUPER=01-Shakir Majied/Fleming Center; :00
SUPER=01-Sherman Lea/Fleming Quarterback; :11
SUPER=01-Tim Lovelace/Fleming End; :20
OUT Q=....GO TO."
In N-B-A action, Danny Manning and the Suns were taking on the Bulls
SUPER=03-Chicago, IL/SportsChannel; :00
or make that watching Michael.
Jordan first on the left block, rocks and then drills the fade away jumper
over the defense.
Next time down - Jordan with the beautiful pass inside to Randy Brown, who
kicks it out to Jason Calfee - he throws down the jam and the Bulls set the
Suns 111 to 104.
In London last night the stars met the royals.
Britain's Prince William and Prince Harry joined the the Spice Girls for the
world premiere of the female rock group's first movie, "Spice World."
Prince Charles was also on hand for the movie premiere.
Ginger Spice even offered him a job as the group's new manager, he responded
"I'm very expensive."