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Wise County grand jury hands down indictments

Wise County grand jury hands down indictments

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A Wise County grand jury handed down dozens of indictments, including one charging a woman in connection with a fatal crash.

Laya Maude Belcher, 60, of Wise, was charged with aggravated involuntary manslaughter, driving under the influence and driving with an open container. Belcher was driving north in the southbound lanes of U.S. Highway 23 near the Powell Valley overlook on Sept. 23, when her vehicle struck another vehicle driven by Sharon Dorton, 62, of Big Stone Gap, according to police. Dorton was transported to Norton Community Hospital, where she was pronounced dead, according to the Virginia State Police.

Belcher "did unlawfully and feloniously, unintentionally, but with conduct so gross, wanton, and culpable so as to show a reckless disregard for human life cause the death of Sharon Dorton as a result of driving under the influence," the indictment states.

A Lynchburg man was indicted in a separate case after authorities with the Wise County Sheriff's Office said he fired a gun into a home on Gardner Hollow Road on Oct. 12. Manuel Sotillo Solo, 27, fired multiple rounds into the home, which was occupied by several people, witnesses told authorities.

He has been indicted on two counts of attempted first-degree murder, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony and felony destruction of property.

Authorities said they found several bullet holes in the walls of the home, as well as damage to walls, the ceiling, cabinets, a washer, a dryer, a door and the roof.

Additionally, the man told investigators that he was angry at the residents of the home because they "disrespected him," according to the WCSO.

George Alexander Moore was indicted on five counts of failing to register on the sex offender registry. Moore, 40, of Norton, was expected by law to register but did not in 2020, according to the indictment. He was convicted of a sex crime in 1999, records show.

In other cases, several people were also indicted on charges of drug possession and failure to appear.

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