4BETTER OR WORSE- The week in review

Most surprising indictment: Game warden Robert Orrin Ham III, 25, on June 11 for the January 24 death of Greene County teen Allen Michael Cochran, 16. Ham, charged with voluntary manslaughter, shot Cochran during a stop after Greene officials received word he'd abducted his girlfriend. His parents says the two were running away.

Most public jail grievance: Captain Charles Trader files suit in Albemarle Circuit Court for being reassigned to facility maintenance after complaining with 40 other jail employees about a since-rescinded policy that allowed certain employees to carpool using jail vehicles, Liesel Nowak reports in the Daily Progress. 

Worst fire: A house at 550 Rock Farms Drive in an Ivy neighborhood of million dollar-plus properties is heavily damaged following a June 18 storm, WINA reports, and a volunteer firefighter is taken to the hospital for heat exhaustion.

Worst driving: Dodge Caravan-driving James J. Newman strikes and critically injures jogger Xianfeng Chen June 10 on Whitewood Road. Newman is charged with driving under the influence at presstime.

Worst nude driving: Joyce Ann Herbert, 33, drives a U-Haul van into a Culpeper house June 10 after sideswiping a Ford Explorer, the Culpeper Star-Exponent reports.

Most persistent sinkhole: The one on U.S. 29 south in front of Seminole Commons Shopping Center reappears for the third time June 18.

Most controversial crossing: City Council approves keeping a Market-to-Water-Street vehicle crossing on the east end of the Downtown Mall June 18, but asks city staff to further study whether to keep it on Fourth Street, where it's been for a year, or move it to Fifth Street.

Newest School Board member: Charles Kollmansperger, who ran for School Board two years ago, is named interim member of the Charlottesville board, filling the seat of departing Louis Bograd. Kollmansperger is not running in the November election.

Latest additions to the Charlottesville School Board race: A race that once looked like it wouldn't be able to muster enough candidates for the four open seats now has seven hopefuls. Teacher Colette Blount and urban planner Kathleen Galvin joined the race June 12– the last day to get on the train. They'll be running against incumbent and School Board Chair Alvin Edwards, business comic creator Grant Brownrigg, IT specialist Sean McCord, public defender Llezelle Dugger, and businesswoman Lynette Meynig. 

Most political donations: DMB-er Boyd Tinsley shells out $2,500 to Democrat Scottsville Supe Lindsay Dorrier; Planning Commissioner (and W. Alton Jones descendant) Bill Edgerton gives $2,500 to the campaign of commission cohort Marcia Joseph; and Coran Capshaw property manager James A. Morris gives $2,000 each to Republican supervisor candidates David Wyant and Ken Boyd. Charlottesville Tomorrow lists the local contributions, compiled by the Virginia Public Access Project. 

Highest judicial nomination: Virginia senators John Warner and Jim Webb recommend Charlottesville attorney Tom Albro for the one of two open seats on the U.S. 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, Bob Gibson reports in the Progress. Albro's and four other names go the White House, where they could linger for years. Albro, 59, is one of the few Republicans to serve on City Council. Among his clients is John Grisham, whom he defends in Katharine Almy's long-running lawsuit against the author and a St. Anne's-Belfield couple.

Happiest-looking mugshot: A beaming Kitty Lynn Gish, 51, is arrested in Louisa June 18 for allegedly shooting her live-in companion, Phillip Ray Horn, 53. 

Best evidence Charlottesville is the center of the universe: The Center for Peace and Justice asks City Council to consider a resolution calling for the impeachment of President George Bush and VP Dick Cheney.



This is insane. This young man dedicates his life to protecting folks from people like the deceased Mr. Cochran...
...and (seemingly) does what is right within the constraints of the law and gets indicted?

I do pray for the deceased young man and his family, but hope justice is served properly during his trial; and that he is released and allowed to serve the public again. I guess we'll have to wait and see. My prayers are with him too.

And to the folks who will go crazy posting after this- we're all entitled to an opinion and I'm not engaging in slander- so back off in advance.


I for one do not believe that a 16 year old deserved to die. There are other ways of stoping a vehicle rather than killing someone. I believe he is trigger happy, he's only 24 and has already killed 2 in his career. The other that was killed threatened him and other's with a "knife". You can't shoot an arm a leg or something other than "to kill". I hope that justice "will" be served. I feel that he doesn't have the right to be out on the streets supposedly protecting others.

I for one do not think that Mr. Hamm had time to aim for a particular part of the body in this situation. Especially when he had been hit by the car and was on the hood. When the 16 yr. old hit him with that car that was just as deadly as shooting at the officer. Yes it would have been alot better had no one died. But Mr. Hamm was forced into this situation by the 16 yr old. Perhaps we should go back further in this case and look at what led up to this. Like the girlfriend telling the school that her boyfriend this 16 yr old was going to come to the school with a gun the week before. Causing great alarm in everyone, not to mention the taxpayers money spent on multiple law officers being at the school to try to make everyone feel safer. Or the fact that they had a report that she was taken against her will. This girl loves drama and thrived on it. One minute she loved him the next she was a victim of him not leaving her alone. Well she got her drama unfortunately it left Allen dead and Mr. Hamm in court. Of course she was back at school looking for her next boyfriend. God help him!

My questions are these:

Why was he in front of a suspect's car? Anyone with any sort of police training would know that you would not stand towards the front of the car.

Why shoot into a car after the driver stated he was going to leave after he let out the girl? According to the girlfriend the officer stated that all they wanted was the girl and then he could leave.

Why was a game warden involved in the incident to begin with? Doesn't Greene county have enough deputies on duty?

If he sustained such "life threatening" injuries" then why was he treated and released within hours? I would wonder if his life was truly threatened then why isn't badly hurt and what about the other deputy that was at the scene?

And finally, why was he know as the "trigger happy warden" throughout the county?

I know it can be difficult at times to defend the law and I can't imagine being in this gentlemen's shoes, but when I heard about this incident, we all asked ourselves the same questions.

These newfangled rookies we have been putting on the streets for the last 15 to 20 years are afraid of their own shadow. All you have to do is sneeze loudly and they whip their guns out. They have been taught the "us vs them" mentality. And they chant "better to be judged by 12 than carried by 6" during their entire shift. Most of them need a bank teller's job at a drive-in window behind bulletproof glass in my opinion.

Do the parent's of these children take any responsibilty? Allen needed help, he just had a mental health evaluation supposenly, and what about the girl? It was reported she was abducted, law enforcement felt she was in danger...

I've wondered that too. Based on reports (so I realize I don't have "first hand" knowledge)this young man had many personal issues and was in desperate need of some help that he wasn't getting from a parent. No one deserves to lose their child; and officers of the law need to follow procedure-

-But where were his parents, teachers, family members long before this? They had to know this child was mentally unstable. I remember reading his obituary right after he was killed and the text mentioned that he was survied by "his fiance". Who "allows" their child to have a fiance -At 16 years old? Come on. That was a sign for me right there that the kid never had a chance -- and that his family was not giving him the support he needed.

I'm just sorry this happened - sorry the game warden was even there - sorry this kid wasn't helped earlier.

Amen, to that!

I too agree to ????. It is very sad that this happened. The Game Warden responded to a call for HELP, a child was in danger, he was trying to protect her, and unfortuantely he ended up having to protect himself. He responded to the situation,because the 16 year old boy put him there. It seems to me that people are so quick to blame Mr. Hamm, but what about the parent's of these children? Allan didn't get the help that he needed, and now I see posters up in stores, etc. that this young girl has run away once again....will she get the help she needs once she is found???? or will the families just wait until another unfortunate accident happensA?

The game warden hasn't killed 2 people, he is new to the force, who are you people with these crazy conspiracy theories. The Game Warden was asked to assist and was struck by the cochran boy who was trying to run him over to flee with a girl who he had been told had been abducted by the same Mr. Cochran who had just previously called in a VT style "I'm gonna shoot everybody" threat to the local highschool.
I'm sorry, he's dead and there is a whole lot of sadness in this old world but in my opinion if your not brought up to respect anyone but yourself and you think this is the way to behave then I think our community is better off with him in a box. just my 2 Cents.