Dad Cleared on Contempt Charge

By: Lisa Ferrari
By: Lisa Ferrari

September 19, 2006

On Tuesday, it was back to court in the case of the teens charged in a plot to attack Albemarle County schools. This time it was one of the teen's fathers on the stand.

Fred Newsom was in Albemarle Circuit Court Tuesday afternoon fighting a contempt of court charge. He sent a letter to the county school board referencing the outcome of his son's appeal. On the stand he said he was just trying to get his son back into school, but prosecutors said the letter violated a court order.

Still, the judge found in favor of the father and dropped the charges.

“The court was obviously satisfied that he didn’t intend to undermine the court’s order and as a result of that made the decision to dismiss it, which I think was the fair thing to do,” said Newsom’s Defense Attorney Ed Riley.

Newsom's son appealed his juvenile conviction and entered an Alford plea in circuit court to two lesser felonies. The court deferred disposition until the teen's 18th birthday and may decide to expunge the charges altogether.

“Mr. Newsom and his family have gone through quite a bit in the last six months and this was another couple of months of stress for them. He is very relieved to have this resolved,” said Newsom.

Newsom says he is still having trouble getting his son back into school. His son is currently enrolled in a computer based home schooling program.

As for the other teens charged in the bomb plot, one was found not guilty on appeal, one did not appeal his conviction, and another is in the process of appealing.

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