Murder, child porn, DWI charges to grand jury

Trial date set for Lesinski and Kavanagh lawsuits

Three people were indicted on 14 charges by a grand jury in Rappahannock County Circuit Court this past Monday, Jan. 8.

Forrest Clark Richmond, 26, of Amissville was indicted on 12 charges of possession of child pornography, eleven of which are for two or more offenses.

According to the criminal complaint, during a search of his home on Nov. 3, 2017, Richmond told investigators that he had child pornography on a computer drive. During a search of the drive, “at least 12 video files were recovered that clearly depict girls (prepubescent) engaged in sex acts,” reads the complaint.

All 12 charges are felonies.

According to Virginia’s sentencing guidelines, the first charge carries a potential sentence of up to five years; the subsequent 11 charges carry potential sentences of up to 10 years each.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Artt Goff confirmed in an email Wednesday that Richmond “is in custody without bail at this time. His case will be on the docket in the upcoming months for further disposition.” The next date is February 15 in Circuit Court.

Meanwhile, Randy Lynn Smoot, 47, of Flint Hill, was indicted on a charge of first-degree murder in connection with the death of Jonas “Jay” Alther of Washington.

In a court filing seeking Smoot’s release on bail, his attorney, Mark Williams, summarized the details of the case.

“[I]t appears that on October 19, 2017, Mr. Smoot was a passenger in a vehicle traveling on Harris Hollow Road towards the direction of Washington, Virginia,” reads the filed document. “As the vehicle approached Mr. Jonas Alther’s property… Mr. Alther and Mr. Smoot began exchanging insults. The argument turned physical and Mr. Alther suffered a head injury.”

Smoot was released on bail on Dec. 7. Bond was set at $100,000 in cash or $200,000 secured by real property. He was ordered to reside with his mother, refrain from using alcohol or illegal substances, and wear a continuous alcohol monitoring device, among the conditions of his release.

His case is on the March 12 circuit court docket for further disposition.

In another case, Jay Louis Edwards, 51, of Amissville was indicted on a third DWI, a felony. On Sept. 5, 2017, Edwards was arrested by Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Deputy C. M. Garcia after the deputy discovered marijuana and Xanax in Edwards’ vehicle.

He was also charged with several misdemeanors for which he was found guilty on Dec. 5: Violating probation stemming from a previous charge, operating on a revoked or suspended license, and possession of marijuana. Additional charges of possession of controlled substances and a second incident of driving on a suspended license were dropped.

Edwards’ felony charge is on the Feb. 16 circuit court docket for further disposition.

Assault, defamation

Attorneys for Washington residents Heidi Lesinski and Edmund Kavanagh met before Rappahannock County Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey W. Parker on Monday to set a trial date for a jury to hear claims and accusations from both sides.

This will be the second time Lesinski, 50, and Kavanagh, 84, will meet in court over a case stemming from a charge Kavanagh made in February that Lesinski had assaulted him in her home.

After a two-and-a-half hour bench trial in District Court last May, Judge J. Gregory Ashwell ruled that inconsistencies in witness testimony created enough reasonable doubt as to the actual circumstances surrounding the charge.

Lesinski then sued Kavanagh in October, charging him with malicious prosecution and defamation. In November, Kavanagh filed a counterclaim charging two criminal counts of assault. (Later, Kavanagh’s attorney Nikki Marshall filed a motion claiming a “scrivener’s error” and corrected one of the charges to Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress).

Both Lesinski and Kavanagh are requesting damages and attorneys’ fees totaling about $200,000.

The trial date was set for Sept. 21 and is expected to take two days.

In addition, Parker announced that he would recuse himself from the trial. He did not give a reason in court for his recusal. A deputy clerk in Fauquier County Circuit Court refused to ask Parker his reason for the record, saying “the judge does not make statements to the press.”

More details of this case were reported in a RappNews story on Nov. 21, 2017. Read the story online at https://rappnews.com/2017/11/21/kavanagh-countersues-lesinski-adding-to-he-said-she-said-court-filings/

About Patty Hardee 214 Articles
Writer, consultant, actor, director, recovering stand-up comic, Patty covers the county’s courts and other topics of interest for Rappahannock News. She lives with her grape-growing husband Bill Freitag in Flint Hill.