Showing posts with label Hampton. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Hampton. Show all posts

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Hampton Man Gets Life Sentence And Rambles On For 100 Minutes

HAMPTON — Just before defendants are about to be sentenced, the judge asks them if they want to say anything.

Most times, defendants opt to say nothing. But sometimes, what follows is perhaps a brief plea for mercy, an apology to the family, or an assertion of innocence.

But John Anya-Onwuka — being sentenced in Hampton Circuit Court Monday for murder in the slaying of his ex-wife — rambled for more than an hour and a half. The hand-written statement began with being in his mother's womb.

A court reporter had difficulty transcribing Anya-Onwuka's words, due to his low tone and thick Nigerian accent. Judge Wilford Taylor Jr. even took a short recess to "stretch."

But after the statement — which lasted from about 4:20 p.m. to just before 6 p.m. — Taylor sentenced Anya-Onwuka, 50, to life in prison in the murder, plus three years for using a knife in a felony in the slashing death of his ex-wife, Gloria Anya-Onwuka, in 2006. The couple was divorced, but lived together in the upscale Farmington subdivision.

"It's the first time I had a defendant give his entire life story at that point in the case," said Anya-Onwuka's court-appointed lawyer, Stephen J. Weisbrod. Then again, he was also the first client who ever pleaded guilty to first-degree murder without a plea agreement.

Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Anton Bell twice objected to the statement while Anya-Onwuka was reading it. But Taylor declined to stop him.

The Daily Press reporter could not hear much of the statement, but Bell said the gist was: "Everybody was bad, and he was a saint." Bell said Anya-Onwuka never apologized to his ex-wife's family, including her mother who traveled from Nigeria for the hearing.

Weisbrod said he apologized "in a roundabout way."

During Monday's testimony, the victim's brother, Emeka Renner, glared at Anya-Onwuka in court, saying: "I want to know why you did what you did. That was a defenseless woman."

Weisbrod said the statement tends to show Anya-Onwuka is mentally ill. Taylor denied Weisbrod's motion before the sentencing to have Anya-Onwuka evaluated for a third time.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Bomb Threats - Newport News, Hampton, Portsmouth

Courthouses in Newport News, Hampton and Portsmouth were evacuated this morning following a bomb threat this morning, according to police.

Hampton police spokeswoman Allison Quinones said that city's courthouses reopened around 11:15 a.m. The Newport News Courthouse reopened at 11:45 p.m. Portsmouth remains closed.
Kathleen Carey, spokeswoman for the Newport News Sheriff's Office, said two threats were phoned in to 911 this morning - one at 9:23 and the other at 10:01 - regarding bombs at courthouses in Newport News, Hampton and Portsmouth. The caller, who wasn't specific about which courthouses, threatened to bomb them at 10:30 a.m., according to Harold Eley, a spokesman for the Newport News police department.
Police in Newport News and Hampton have evacuated all courthouses, with the exception of the federal courthouse in Newport News. Portsmouth Circuit Court has also been evacuated. In Newport News, K-9 units arrived around 10:30 a.m. to begin checking for explosives.
In Hampton, police closed the blocks of King and Lincoln Streets and Pembroke Avenue surrounding the courthouses. In Newport News, police have shut down 25th and 26th streets as well as Huntington Avenue to West Street.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

End Of An Era For F-15's At Langley Air Force Base

Langley Air Force Base is turning a new chapter, and it will change what you see in the skies.

The 71st Fighter Squadron is being inactivated, part of a service-wide restructuring plan. That means the squadron's F-15 fighters are being parceled out to other Air Force bases and Air National Guard units.

The F-15 has compiled a stellar combat record, and the departure from Langley is bittersweet, says Lt. Col. Joel Cook, the squadron commander. However, he said the squadron is prepared to go out professionally and "in style."

The last F-15 will leave Langley in mid-September. The 71st Fighter Squadron, which has served the country since World War II, will be officially inactivated on September 30.