- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 14, 2007

VIRGINIA

YORK

Death row inmate’s trial delayed

A trial in York County to determine whether a death-row inmate is mentally retarded has been continued indefinitely.

The York County Circuit Court clerk’s office said no new trial date has been set for Daryl Atkins of Hampton.

Atkins was scheduled to be executed in December 2005 for the murder of Eric Nesbitt two years earlier. His case led to a U.S. Supreme Court ban on executing the mentally retarded, and now his mental capacity is in question.

Last year, the Virginia Supreme Court overturned a jury decision that Atkins was not mentally retarded because an expert witness for prosecutors was found to be unqualified to testify and because the judge told the jury that Atkins had been sentenced to death.

CHRISTIANSBURG

Teacher pleads guilty to ‘70s rape of girl

A former teacher in Blacksburg pleaded guilty yesterday to 10 counts of rape in the early 1970s.

Montgomery County Commonwealth’s Attorney Brad Finch said Jonathan Utin, 65, began having sex with a girl when she was 11 and continued for several years.

Mr. Finch said the victim said the abuse happened about once a week until 1974. He also said Utin threatened to hurt a boy who had witnessed Utin fondling the girl.

Under a plea agreement, Utin will serve 40 years in prison.

Before he begins his sentence in Virginia, he must complete a 15-year sentence in Ohio for having sex with a girl there.

Utin taught science at a Blacksburg middle school from 1968 to 2003, and was a gymnastics coach, Sunday school teacher and swim club manager in the area.

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