Trials, ceiling repairs on the docket

The sky — or at least the ceiling — was falling in Rappahannock County Circuit Court Monday afternoon (May 12), as a leaky rooftop air conditioning unit caused part of the ceiling to collapse while court was in session.

No one was injured, and amid the mild destruction, one sentence was handed down, while two people were directly indicted by a grand jury convened Monday morning.

Luray resident Richard Allen Vandenbosch, 47, pleaded guilty to driving on a suspended license and was subsequently sentenced as part of a plea agreement with Commonwealth’s Attorney Art Goff. Goff said he had offered Vandenbosch the deal in district court: 180 days in jail (all suspended), a $750 fine ($500 suspended), a year of unsupervised probation and a suspended license for 90 days.

“You dodged a little bit of a bullet here Mr. Vandenbosch,” said Judge Jeffrey W. Parker, “because I don’t like people who repeatedly drive on a suspended license.”

Nevertheless, Parker agreed to follow Goff’s sentencing recommendation.

Grand jury indictments

Two people were directly indicted by a grand jury Monday afternoon: Rudy Gomez Santoyo and Brandy Jean Walters. Gomez, 24, of Culpeper, was charged with credit card fraud and released on a $1,000 personal recognizance bond. He will return for a hearing June 16.

Walters, 32, of Boston, was indicted on charges of grand larceny, after allegedly stealing a snowblower on Jan. 23 from Thurman Johnson. She failed to appear for the afternoon court session; a warrant was subsequently issued for her.

Trial dates

Several trial dates were also set Monday afternoon, including Chester Gap resident James Robert Williams, who is charged with violating his probation — which was part of sentencing for his January conviction on public swearing and intoxication charges, as well as possessing marijuana.

Summarizing evidence for the court in January, Goff said that Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Deputy Christopher Koglin responded to complaints of an “unruly subject” in Chester Gap last Aug. 13.

After arriving on the scene, Koglin spotted the 22-year-old Williams, who promptly fled, Goff said, and temporarily eluded Koglin. Williams returned to the scene shortly thereafter; Koglin eventually subdued him with a taser gun after Williams became agitated. Koglin also found a small bag of marijuana in Williams’ pocket.

Williams was sentenced to 12 months in jail (all suspended), one year of supervised probation, 24 hours of community service, a $1,500 fine ($750 suspended) and a six-month loss of license — though Parker cautioned him: “This is a close one . . . If you use marijuana and you test positive for it, you’ll likely be here in front of me again and you will serve all of that time. That’s 12 months, Mr. Williams. That’s real time.”

Williams’ probation violation was due to testing positive for marijuana; he was remanded into RCSO custody. His case was continued to May 27.

Thomas Leroy Walter, who is charged with nonviolent felony possession of a weapon, requested a jury and was subsequently remanded into RCSO as a result of a previously issued capias. His one-day jury trial is scheduled for July 22. Howard William Tieckelman, 70, of Washington, was charged with assault after allegedly kneeing another man in the groin at the Flint Hill Public House. He waived his right to a jury; his one-day bench trial is scheduled for June 24.