Louisa Co. sheriff, commonwealth’s attorney announce actions against COVID-19

Louisa Co. sheriff, commonwealth’s attorney announce actions against COVID-19
Commonwealth’s Attorney Rusty McGuire and Sheriff Donnie Lowe. Photo provided by the Louisa County Sheriff's Office (Source: LSCO)

LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - Law enforcement authorities in Louisa County say some non-violent people awaiting trial while in Central Virginia Regional Jail may be released. Sheriff Donnie Lowe and Commonwealth’s Attorney Rusty McGuire said in a joint release Tuesday, March 24, that this action would be to minimize the potential spread of the coronavirus.

Additionally, authorities say they are seeing phone scams seeking donations.

“We wish to make the following unmistakably clear anyone who thinks this crisis presents an opportunity to offend against our laws or citizens will be proven swiftly and decisively wrong. We will continue to hold criminal offenders accountable for their misconduct and honor our oath to uphold laws enacted to protect the dignity and security of all Louisa County residents” said Sheriff Lowe and Rusty McGuire in Tuesday’s release.

According to the Virginia Department of Health, there are currently two confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Louisa County.

03/24/2020 Release from the Louisa County Sheriff’s Office:

LOUISA, VIRGINIA - Today, Sheriff Donnie Lowe and Commonwealth’s Attorney Rusty McGuire announced public safety priorities during the State of Emergency. As Covid-19 continues to present a public health crisis unparalleled in modern times, our offices are taking proactive actions to address this urgent challenge. We salute our first responders, law enforcement partners, medical professionals, public safety personnel and others who are serving with selfless courage and distinction at this historic moment.

Together we have taken steps to ensure operational continuity and responsiveness in both of our offices. We have also worked with the Central Virginia Regional Jail and reviewed the file of every criminal defendant. Some with non-violent histories and chargers may be released pending trial to minimize the risk of potential exposure to Covid-19.

These actions do not mean that those exploiting our citizens during this crisis will get a pass. In taking these steps, we have not and shall not recede from our duty to protect public safety and defend the rule of law. We will continue to take enforcement actions and make charging decisions based on the facts and evidence in each case. Those who use this pandemic to exploit our citizens will face swift action.

We are aware of reports that some hate groups have encouraged the use of Covid-19 as a weapon. We are also seeing phone calls falsely representing those seeking donations to scam our citizens. Our first responders must answer these calls with risk to their safety with potential exposure to Covid-19.

“We wish to make the following unmistakably clear anyone who thinks this crisis presents an opportunity to offend against our laws or citizens will be proven swiftly and decisively wrong. We will continue to hold criminal offenders accountable for their misconduct and honor our oath to uphold laws enacted to protect the dignity and security of all Louisa County residents” said Sheriff Lowe and Rusty McGuire.

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