RICHMOND – Governor McAuliffe today announced that, following a thorough legal review of the case, he will commute the death sentence of Ivan Teleguz to life imprisonment without parole. Teleguz’s request for a pardon will be denied. Teleguz was convicted in the murder-for-hire of Stephanie Yvonne Sipe in July 2001. He was scheduled to be executed on April 25.
Announcing his decision at the Virginia State Capitol today, Governor McAuliffe delivered the following statement (as prepared):
Good afternoon, and thank you for joining us. I am joined today by my Secretary of Public Safety, Brian Moran, and my Counsel, Carlos Hopkins, both of whom have devoted countles
Candidate claims bias. Don Caldwell, Commonwealth Attorney for the City of Roanoke released a statement Monday regarding the complaint by Martin Jeffrey, Democratic primary candidate for the 11th District House of Delegates. Jeffrey is opposing Democratic incumbent Delegate Onzlee Ware in the June 9 primary.
Caldwell states that the document he received in his office from the Jeffrey campaign on May 4 was “remarkably short on detail” but it appeared that the concern was on Delegate Ware’s petitions including the number of signatures, the notary seal, and the way the petitions were circulated.
Caldwell’s statement read: “Pursuant to these concerns, I asked Mr. Tony Reed, the Chairman of the Roanoke City Democratic Committee, to show me the original paperwork that he received from Delegate Onzlee Ware’s campaign. An examination of these documents indicated some 200 signatures were submitted; and Mr. Tony Reed advised that there were at least 125 signatures, the minimum number required by statute, of registered voters who lived in the district where the election is to be held. I next contacted each of the affiants who collected signatures and determined that each affiant had circulated his/her petition(s) and had complied with the requirements of statute and executed an affidavit to this effect on each petition as required by law. Finally, an inspection of the petitions indicated that a raised notary seal was not present. However, a notarized affidavit is not required under Consequently, the presence or absence of a notary seal is not fatal to the validity of the petition especially when the affiant in person administering the oath are available and have verified that this process was done according to statute.”
Mark Powell, Jeffrey’s campaign manager accused Caldwell of making this statement in a bias manner since he supports incumbent Ware openly. “It is a sham of an investigation … the process has been corrupted,” said Powell.