Looking back: Noteworthy crimes and court cases in 2018

By Heather Michon, Correspondent

It was a busy year for the Fluvanna County courts, with two major trials and dozens of other hearings, sentencings and dramas. Here’s a look back at the year inside the courtroom.


The year began with the two-day trial of Gary N. Blowe for his part in a November 2016 shootout off Lake Monticello Road.
Blowe, along with John Morton Abbitt, Thomas Andrew Jackson and Dante Givens, was charged with multiple felonies stemming from the incident, which began as an attempt to steal some guns they believed were in an apartment over a garage on the property of Garnette Bourne.

Bourne, along with his brother, Scott, and former Fluvanna County Sheriff Jackie Gillespie, returned unexpectedly to the garage and a shootout began. Garnette Bourne was shot in the leg during the altercation. Commonwealth’s Attorney Jeff Haislip produced evidence showing that Blowe had shot Bourne before fleeing the scene.

Abbitt, Jackson and Givens all testified against Blowe during the trial and later entered guilty pleas for their part in the incident. Blowe was sentenced to 42 years in prison, with Abbitt and Givens both receiving four years, and Jackson six years.

Bank robbery

Jeffrey W. Troxell, 27, of Chesterfield County, pleaded guilty in an October 2017 bank robbery at the Union Bank & Trust on Thomas Jefferson Parkway.

Troxell stole about $1,300 before fleeing the scene. He made no real attempt to disguise his appearance or cover up a prominent neck tattoo and was quickly identified and taken into custody in Chesterfield.

He was sentenced to serve 20 years with 10 years suspended.



One unusual incident made national headlines in July when a 10-year-old boy and his 7-year-old brother took their foster family’s Lexus on a road trip.

The children left the home near Wilmington very early in the morning on July 24, and it was unclear how they even made it to Interstate 64. They were spotted driving erratically near the Shannon Hill exit and finally stopped after clipping another car and sliding into a ditch near the Gum Springs exit. Neither the boys nor the other driver was injured.

Capt. David Wells of the Fluvanna County Sheriff’s Office said he received calls from media all over the country when news of the boys’ adventure hit the newswires. The children told investigators they were trying to get to Virginia Beach.

Record-setting DUI

In July, Jason Breeden pleaded guilty to a charge of driving under the influence. He had been stopped for making an illegal U-turn in front of E.W. Thomas Dec. 8, 2017, and the arresting office quickly suspected he was intoxicated.

Breeden was found to have a blood alcohol content (BAC) of 0.373 percent, a level of intoxication that is generally considered life-threatening. “This is the highest BAC I believe I’ve seen,” said Haislip during sentencing. “Mr. Breeden has to be a very seasoned alcoholic.”

Breeden’s attorney, James Cooke, told the judge that it was amazing Breeden had been as functional as he was that night. “That’s not really meant as a defense,” he added. “More of an observation.”

While Judge Richard Moore praised Breeden for finally seeking help for his long-term alcohol problem, he ended up sentencing him to 12 months with all but 90 days suspended, and five years of probation, during which he is prohibited from using alcohol or other substances.

Shooting spree and standoff
One long-running drama came to a close as Joe Kain Roach, Jr., was found guilty on multiple counts stemming from an April 2017 shooting spree in Scottsville that left one woman injured and sparked a seven-hour standoff with law enforcement.
After a day-long bench trial, Judge Moore found Roach guilty of all but three of a dozen counts, including aggravated malicious wounding, maliciously firing on an occupied dwelling, and assault and battery against two Fluvanna County sheriff’s deputies.

In November Roach was sentenced to 102 years in prison, with 44 years suspended. His active sentence was 58 years. If he is ever given geriatric release, the judge additionally ordered 10 years of supervised probation and three years of electronic monitoring.

“I’m not speaking in hyperbole,” Haislip said during his arguments at sentencing. “This is the most dangerous man in Fluvanna County.”


Related Posts

dewi88 cuanslot dragon77 cuan138 enterslots rajacuan megahoki88 ajaib88 warung168 fit188 pusatwin pusatwin slot tambang88 mahkota88 slot99 emas138