HANOVER, VA (WWBT) – Following 14 grueling hours of testimony, closing arguments, and deliberations, a Hanover County jury reached a verdict late Wednesday night. It found the two former school employees accused of sex crimes against students guilty of all charges.
Craig and Angela Linnon now face prison time. Shortly after 1:00am Thursday, the jury recommended 11 years for Craig Linnon and 9 years for Angela Linnon. They faced maximum penalties of 35 and 20 years in prison, respectively.
The judge will formally impose the sentence June 20. Bond was denied, and both Linnons were taken into custody.
What follows is a summary of testimony that took place earlier Wednesday:
What really happened inside the Linnon home, or, in a storage closet at school?
Craig and Angela Linnon know - but they never took the stand in their two-day trial on charges of sex crimes against students. Instead, the story was told through the testimony of teenagers.
In late 2009, Craig was a teacher, and Angela was a nurse, at the Hanover Center for Trades and Technology. Wednesday morning, a 17-year-old girl testified that in December of 2009, when she was 16, the Linnons invited her to their house, along with two boys. There was drinking and marijuana use, she testified, and before long all five were engaged in graphic sex acts with one or more partners.
But cross-examination revealed that the girl had lied about her story before, due to embarrassment. She admitted to lying only about smaller details, and through tears, she pleaded for the jury to believe that she was telling the truth, now.
On Tuesday, a male student testified that in November of 2009, he received oral sex from Angela during class in a storage closet. Defense attorneys called it all "rumors, lies, and innuendo". Indeed there was no medical or genetic evidence of sexual encounters...only evidence of text messages sent between Craig Linnon, and one of the students involved.