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
Joshua Johnson, 29, an attorney with Gentry Locke Rakes and Moore, LLC announced his candidacy this morning at Roanoke Regional Airport’s boardroom. The location was chosen to highlight his theme of being a “regional representative.” Johnson mentioned Ronald Reagan several times throughout his announcement and when asked later he made it clear he is a “Ronald Reagan” conservative. He is an active member of the Republican Party where he serves as Secretary.
When asked what he would have done differently during budget negotiations in the General Assembly this year Johnson said that he would have set as a priority – transportation, education and economic infrastructure. Johnson touted The Roanoke Regional Partnership, which he referred to as a “marketing arm” where you have the public and private sector working together to “do good marketing.” Johnson elaborated on the example of BMW who is looking for a location to build a new plant -“we need to have a seat at the table in terms of encouraging them to an area like Roanoke.”
As far as the education cuts, Johnson said there are problems with schools being able to meet the SOQ (Standards of Quality) – this needs addressing and he does not think Governor Kaine foresaw how the budget deficit was going to affect the schools. Sudent/teacher ratios are one area that needs to be revisited, said Johnson.
Johnson said he is not coming from the perspective of being “for or against” the stimulus money filtering down from Washington, DC but he now wants to focus on “using it wisely.”
Johnson grew up in the coal mining country of Bluefield, West Virginia. He is the son of a family doctor and his mother serves on the school board of Tazewell County. He attended the University of Virginia where he met his wife, Kristin. They have one son and live in Roanoke City. He is a member of Gardner’s Chapel Baptist Church in Scott County.
The economy is his first priority and as a construction lawyer he has represented contractors, architects and engineers which gives first hand knowledge of the tough economic times that Virginia’s 17th District faces.
Top priority for Johnson is jobs – more jobs and less regulation. To that end Johnson’s focus will be on small businesses. “Lift up the small business owners and create an environment that lets them thrive without unduly burdensome regulations and taxes,” said Johnson. Johnson is committed to obtaining more funding for economic development to entice new business to the region while keeping the large corporations already in the Roanoke region like Advance Auto, Carilion, Norfolk Southern, Lewis Gale and Anthem. Josh Johnson’s website CLICK HERE !