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Federal charge filed
In UVA-Wise hoax case
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Bryant Alexander Hairston

Tuesday, January 29, 2013

From Bulletin and AP reports

A bond hearing for a former Martinsville resident was held Monday in Abingdon after a federal charge was issued against him in connection with an incident last week at the University of Virginia at Wise.

Bryant Alexander Hairston, 20, was charged Monday in the federal criminal complaint with knowingly making false, fictitious and fraudulent statements and representations, according to a release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia.

At the hearing, Hairston was ordered released to the third-party custody of his parents and will be on home detention and subject to electronic monitoring, according to Brian McGinn of the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

A preliminary hearing for Hairston is scheduled for Feb. 15.

According to the criminal complaint, a 911 call was placed shortly before 9 p.m. Jan. 23 to report that a gunman had been seen on the U.Va.-Wise campus, the release stated.

The caller allegedly reported that the gunman was wearing a face mask, according to the release. The caller also described the outfit the gunman was wearing, his location on campus and that the gun was a pistol, the release stated.

The university was locked down for about two hours as officers from various law enforcement agencies searched the buildings and grounds for a gunman, university officials have said. No gunman was found, officials said.

The complaint filed Monday also alleged that Hairston later admitted to lying about information given to 911, the release stated.

The university’s police department charged Hairston, a Martinsville High School graduate, last week with falsely summoning law enforcement officials, a misdemeanor. The federal charge is a felony, according to McGinn.

A criminal complaint is a charge and does not indicate guilt. The burden is on the government to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt, according to the release.

The continuing investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Virginia State Police, the Wise Police Department, the Wise County Sheriff’s Office, the Pound Police Department, the Coeburn Police Department and the UVA Wise Police Department.

Assistant United States Attorney Randy Ramseyer will prosecute the case for the United States.


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