Smoot trial date set for mid-August; Grand jury indicts four on assault and drug charges

A three-day jury trial for Randy Smoot, charged with first degree murder in the death of Harris Hollow resident Jonas Alter, was set in Rappahannock County Circuit Court for August 15, 16, and 17.

Smoot had been charged with aggravated malicious wounding after he allegedly assaulted Alther on Oct. 19 with a heavy object, believed to be an industrial flashlight. Hours later, after Alther succumbed to his injuries, Smoot was charged with first degree murder.

Smoot is currently out on bond awaiting trial.

Meanwhile, a grand jury handed down indictments on four individuals in Rappahannock County Circuit Court.

Joshua Jacob Hunter Keys, 31, of Sperryville, was indicted on two counts of assault and battery, one count of strangulation resulting in injury, and one count of violating a protective order, all felonies.

According to the criminal complaint filed by Rappahannock County Sheriff’s Deputy Sgt. W. C. Ubben, on October 3, 2017 “Keys did while assaulting his wife grab her in such a manner as to restrict or stop the flow of oxygen to her body.”

Keys was released on a secured bond. His case will be taken up again in Circuit Court on March 27.

Pamela Naomi Rose Morris was indicted on two felony counts of possession of Schedule I or II drugs. On July 30, 2017, RCSO Deputy C. M. Garcia arrested the 49-year-old Boston resident after a traffic stop on Route 211.

Garcia observed Morris’ “vehicle swerve and not be able to maintain its lane,” according to the deputy’s criminal complaint. “The vehicle at one point was traveling down the center of the two westbound lanes.”

After the stop, wrote Garcia, “I observed the driver [had] bloodshot and glassy eyes and was unsteady on her feet.” Garcia administered a series of routine field sobriety tests, but Morris was unable to complete them. “Multiple tests had to be stopped for the safety of the individual because of her unsteadiness on her feet.”

Upon searching Morris’ vehicle, the deputy detected the odor of PCP and discovered “a large amount of suspected PCP and crack cocaine,” according to the complaint. Analysis of the substances by the Virginia Department of Forensic Science came back positive for PCP and cocaine.

Morris was released on secured bond. Her case is also continued to March 27.

On July 24, 2017, the same deputy received a call for an overdose. Upon arriving at the scene, he found Christine Nichol Robinson “displaying signs of an overdose,” according to his written complaint. Garcia administered Narcan twice, which revived her. He then sent samples of Morris’s blood to a lab for analysis.

“The blood results came back with multiple different substances found, one of which was Fentanyl,” he wrote.

Morris, 37, from Castleton, was charged with one count of possession of a Schedule I or II drug. Her case is continued to March 27.

Luther Leroy Scott, Jr., 47, of Front Royal was charged with possession of a Schedule I or II drug after a traffic stop on April 18, 2017. RCSO Sgt M. C. Dodson wrote in his criminal complaint that after getting permission from Scott to conduct a search of the vehicle, “I located a grey in color spoon. . . . Once I picked up the spoon I observed what appeared to be burn marks on the bottom side and white in color residue on the opposite side.”

Dodson sent the spoon to the Virginia Department of Forensic Science, which confirmed that the spoon contained cocaine residue. Scott’s case is continued to April 19.

About Patty Hardee 242 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.