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The Daily Progress - Docket-call

Docket Call | March 5, 2020

Welcome back to Docket Call, a newsletter about Central Virginia courts.

It’s been a busy couple weeks for me between court, the General Assembly and vacation but I’m happy to get this newsletter back your way. 

Before we get into court news, which is often upsetting, I thought I’d lighten things up and share some news: The Dixie Chicks are back! Is that in any way related to Central Virginia? No, but their new single, "Gaslighter" rules and you should give it a listen.  

There are some interesting criminal and civil hearings on the horizon but first, here is a look at what’s happened in the last couple weeks.

Albemarle man sentenced for murder, dismemberment of woman

Docket Call | March 5, 2020



Family members of Angela Lynn Lax got some degree of closure this past Monday, as her killer was sentenced and will serve 25 years behind bars.

Robert C. Henderson was convicted of killing Lax in 2018 and then dismembering her body, scattering her bones behind his residence.

The Commonwealth highlighted the savage nature of the crime, requesting he be “quarantined” from society. The defense spoke of Henderson’s mental illness, something he’s been able to better manage ever since he was incarcerated.

Lax’s mother gave heart-wrenching impact testimony, drawing attention to the kind woman she said her daughter was and her work, which included founding a program that allowed children with disabilities to ride horses.

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New trial granted in case of woman who died from infection while pregnant

A negligence lawsuit from the widower of a woman who died of an E. Coli infection has been revived by the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Shareef Tahboub filed a lawsuit a few years ago against two doctors who he alleges were negligent, causing his then-pregnant wife, Jaclyn Tahboub, to get sick and die.

The case is replete with medical terminology, but essentially Tahboub argues that a cervical device implanted in his wife to assist with childbirth may have caused her to become infected. He further alleges that when his wife reached out to doctors her concerns were dismissed and valuable treatment time was lost.

After being dismissed in 2018, the plaintiff appealed the suit and last month the appeal was granted. A new trial is expected to happen in Charlottesville Circuit Court some time next year.

Though doctors at the University of Virginia Medical Center were unable to save Jacyln, they did safely deliver her son. More information about Jaclyn, her legacy and a scholarship in her memory can be found at jaclynsmemorialscholarship.com

Other court news

Legal Terms for Non-Lawyers

If you follow me on Twitter you likely saw me tweet about the gleeful discovery of “Executrix” last week, but in case you didn’t:

Executrix is the term for the female version of an executor — someone who carries out a will. It’s a pretty uncommon word that few still use, with executor now functioning as inclusive of all genders, but occasionally you’ll still see it in some legal documents.

Personally, I think executrix sounds far cooler than executor and wish it was widely used in lieu of the “male” version, but what can ya do?

Happenings in other courts

On the docket:

  • A motions hearing is set for today in Louisa County Circuit Court for the case of a Confederate flag erected to spite Charlottesville public officials. Check back for my article on that later today.

  • Suzanne Ruth Mirsky, of Scottsville, is docketed to be arraigned on March 27. She is charged with murdering her daughter, among other child neglect charges.

  • The ever-delayed arraignment of Bruce W. Lynch Jr. -- charged with four counts carnal knowledge of a child, among other things -- is now set to be arraigned on April 14 in Louisa County Circuit Court.

  • Also on April 14, attorneys for former Albemarle County pain management doctor, Mark Dean, are expected to argue motions to dismiss his case.

Court is dismissed!

Have story ideas or questions? Let me know at thammel@dailyprogress.com or (434) 978-7268.