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week's news in review

Date published: 3/30/2008


Johnson should be re leased soon. He has been in jail since November, and inmates convicted of misdemeanors generally have to serve only about half of their sentences.

The victim was a Stafford woman.

Group urges park to preserve war sites

Historians and preservationists are encouraging Stafford County to create a public park to preserve the most significant remaining set of unprotected Civil War forts and camps in the northern part of Virginia.

The 14- to 20-acre tract near the regional landfill in central Stafford includes four Union Army forts and two camps where soldiers spent the winter of 1862-63. Glenn Trimmer, director of Friends of Stafford Civil War Sites, said the site is the best surviving piece of the "Valley Forge of the Civil War," the winter camps where the Union Army recovered from its defeats at Fredericksburg and Chancellorsville.

An ad-hoc group convened last week by Stafford County Administrator Anthony Romanello called for preserving the sites and building a one-lane road to provide public access.

Soldier stabbed outside local eatery

A soldier was stabbed and beaten outside a Fredericksburg restaurant early March 22, police said.

City police spokeswoman Natatia Bledsoe said the 21- year-old man, who is in the Army, was stabbed twice in the abdomen during a ruckus at the IHOP in Central Park about 2:30 a.m.

The soldier did not suffer life-threatening injuries and was up and talking to police after the brawl.

Embezzling sends handyman to prison

A former chauffeur and handyman was sentenced to seven years in prison for embezzling money from an elderly Colonial Beach man who had hired and befriended him.

In addition, James Michael Armel, 37, agreed to repay his former benefactor $100,000 and to stay away from the victim and his family.

Westmoreland County Commonwealth's Attorney Dean J. Atkins said that in August 2006, Armel persuaded his benefactor to give him $30,000 to invest in real estate. But Armel used the money to buy a new car a few days later. Armel and his wife later sold the car for $22,000. The transactions amounted to embezzlement, for which Armel received seven years in prison.

As part of a deal with the prosecutor, Armel pleaded guilty to charges of grand larceny, selling stolen property and money laundering and the sentences were suspended.

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