<sh>Fawley Trial Tests Jury Pool
<bt>According to the office of Mathews County Clerk Eugene Callis, 125 notices had originally been sent out to summon potential jurors for the trial of Benjamin Fawley, who is being charged with first degree murder in the death of Taylor Behl, a 17-year-old Vienna resident whose body was found in Mathews last October. These represented about half of the average total number of notices sent out for juries in felony trials each year in the county, which has a population of about 9,200 — roughly two-thirds the population of the town of Vienna.
The office sent out 50 more notices early this week, to offset the potential jurors who had withdrawn or were expected to withdraw. Citizens over the age of 70 are not required to serve, and others have shown evidence of prior vacation plans.
At a hearing last Wednesday, July 12, defense attorneys William Johnson and Christopher Collins made two motions, both of which were denied by Judge William Shaw III, said Callis. The defense had asked that potential jurors fill out a form demonstrating their knowledge of the case and possible relationships with trial participants, and that the prosecution be restricted from presenting evidence of Fawley's prior misbehavior, including assault convictions and a charge of possession of child pornography.
Shaw said he would defer the latter ruling until the trial and make it on a case-by-case basis, said Callis. A final motion date has been set for Wednesday, July 26, although Callis said no motions have been filed at this point.
Fawley's trial is scheduled to begin Aug. 17.
<1b>— Mike DiCicco
<sh>High-Speed Chase Ends in Crash
<bt>At about 11:15 p.m. on Saturday, July 8, a Vienna police officer was making a routine traffic stop near the western edge of town, said Police Capt. Mike Miller. The driver pulled over near the intersection of Malcolm Road and Valeview Court, but when the officer left her car and began approaching the suspect's vehicle, the suspect sped away down Malcolm Road, said Miller.
The officer got back in her car and gave pursuit, and as Malcolm became Vale Road, the suspect began passing traffic across the double yellow line. As he approached the intersection of Vale Road and Stryker Avenue a few blocks outside of town, the suspect went off the road and crashed into a tree.
The suspect was transported to Inova Fairfax hospital, where he is being treated for non-life threatening injuries. Miller said the incident is under investigation by both the Vienna and Fairfax County police departments, and charges will be pending upon completion of the investigation.
<1b>— Mike DiCicco
<sh>Board Approves Beulah Plan
<bt>The Board of Supervisors unanimously approved a plan to tear down an existing house on Beulah Road, near Delancey Drive, and replace it with two new houses.
The house, just outside the Town of Vienna, is owned by David and Charlotte Laughlin. The Laughlins plan to live in one of the two new houses.
Adjoining property owners had opposed the plan, citing a fear that the new development will increase stormwater runoff on their property. County engineers who study stormwater have concluded that the additional runoff is unlikely.
“We’re protecting the community as best we can,” said Supervisor Cathy Hudgins (D-Hunter Mill).
Supervisor Linda Smyth (D-Providence) remarked that she was disappointed that the house, which dates to 1925, would be removed. “I’m sad,” she said.
<1b>— Ari Cetron
<sh>History on Hunter Mill
<bt>The Board of Supervisors unanimously agreed to change the county’s Comprehensive Plan to recognize that there are potential historic sites along Hunter Mill Road.
Citizen task forces in the Providence and Sully districts, and a combined task force made up of Dranesville and Hunter Mill residents, were all supportive of the change. “Such unanimous support … is exceptional,” said Jody Bennett of the Hunter Mill Defense League.
The changes will recognize that the road is a Virginia Byway and has been recognized as eligible to be included in the National Register of Historic Places.
Some, however, opposed the change. “It’s no more historic than any other 100 year-old road in Fairfax County,” said John Thoburn. Thoburn owns the golf driving range on Hunter Mill Road, just north of the Dulles Toll Road, and other land in the area. On several occasions, he has asked that the county change the Comprehensive Plan to increase the allowable density on his land.
Thoburn fears that this new designation will be used as more ammunition against allowing him to build developments with more houses. “It’s about promoting snob zoning,” he said.
<1b>— Ari Cetron
<sh>Ice Cream Vendor Robbed
<bt>The operator of an ice cream truck was assaulted and robbed about 9:15 p.m. Friday, July 7, according to a police report. The victim, a 58-year-old Vienna resident, was parked in the 12200 block of Laurel Glade Court in the Reston area when a teenager showed a knife and demanded the victim’s money. As the first suspect yelled demands for the victim’s money, a second suspect jumped inside the truck through the driver’s-side door, said police.
While the second suspect was assaulting the victim, the suspect armed with the knife also climbed inside the truck. The two assailants left after taking money and the victim’s cellular telephone. The victim chased the two suspects on foot, but lost them in nearby woods. He refused medical treatment.
The suspects are described as black males approximately 15 years old, 5 feet 5 inches tall, weighing about 150 pounds, and both wearing dark shirts, pants and baseball caps. They both wore dark bandannas pulled up over their mouths.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Crime Solvers at 1-866-411-TIPS (8477) or the police non-emergency number at 703-691-2131.
<sh>Real Estate Tax Due
<bt>The first installment on 2006 Town of Vienna real estate taxes is due on Friday, July 28. Citizens who have not received their bill by July 15 should call the town's Real Estate Office at 703-255-6325. A penalty of 10 percent or $5, whichever is greater, and interest at the annual rate of 10 percent on the tax and penalty, will be assessed for late payment, as required by state law.
<sh>Vienna Sidewalk Survey
<bt>The Vienna Town Council is asking citizens for input on sidewalk projects. Several projects have been completed, but traffic is getting heavier, and the demand for recreational opportunities, including walking, jogging and bicycling, is increasing. Funds for sidewalk construction have been budgeted for this fiscal year, and the Town Council is seeking citizen suggestions regarding areas for construction of new sidewalks, as well as areas for sidewalk improvements. The due date for surveys is Aug. 15. The survey can be found on page 4 of the town newsletter or at www.viennava.gov.
<sh>Town Water Quality Report
<bt>Vienna has released its 2005 Water Quality Report. According to the report, the town's water system did not have any violations during the year. A "source water assessment" of the system was conducted by the Virginia Department of Health, in which wells No. 1 and 9 were determined to be of high susceptibility to contamination using the criteria developed by the state in its approved Source Water Assessment Program.
For the year 2005, the town was supplied with treated surface water from the Potomac River by the Fairfax County Water Authority James J. Corbalis Jr. Water Treatment Plant. The town purchases water directly from the Fairfax County Water Authority and the City of Falls Church. No Washington Aqueduct water was received this year. The final source is groundwater from two wells in the town. These sources are blended in the town's delivery system.