Courteney Stuart

Courteney Stuart
Courteney Stuart is an award-winning journalist with more than 17 years experience. She started her career in Richmond, Virginia in 1996 as assistant editor at both Style Weekly and its sister publication, Inside Business magazine, and spent 11 years at the Hook in Charlottesville, where she served first as senior editor and then as chief editor. She is the recipient of more than two dozen journalism awards from the Virginia Press Association, including multiple first place prizes for investigative reporting and feature writing. Her written work has appeared in publications including Las Vegas Weekly and Humanities: The Magazine of the National Endowment for the Humanities, and she has appeared on numerous national television news programs including Dateline NBC, Primetime Crime, Nancy Grace, as well as on the Headline News, Investigation Discovery and E! News channels.

“What happened to Alexis is so tragic, and there are still other families going through that,” said Trina Murphy, above, embracing Gil Harrington in Lynchburg in December 2013. “I don’t think that’s going to change anytime soon.” Staff photo

Alexis Murphy’s aunt finds inspiration in new career

The death of any loved one can be staggering, but when someone simply vanishes, it can be even more difficult, said Trina Murphy, the great aunt of Nelson County teenager Alexis Murphy who disappeared in 2013 and who is presumed dead, although her body has never been found. After spending the past 18 months seeking […]

A video taken by Fall Line film collective member Kai Irving shows a Charlottesville police officer pulling a woman from the crowd during a March 18 protest over the arrest of UVA student Martese Johnson.

Video footage of March 18 Martese Johnson protest

“It really surprised me a lot, anything like this happening in Charlottesville,” said 17-year-old Greg Nachmanovitch, who documented the Wednesday, March 18, protest over the arrest of UVA student Martese Johnson by Virginia Alcoholic Beverage Control agents. Also filming the protest, organized by UVA’s Black Student Alliance, were Will Jones, 17, and recent VCU film […]

Members of Sweet Briar’s freshman class including Kat Perry, front center, and Jules Sudol, rear center, are devastated by the decision to close their school. Photo courtesy Kat Perry

Alumnae fight back over planned closure of Sweet Briar College

A week after Sweet Briar’s board of directors announced plans to close the 114-year-old women’s college in Amherst, shock and grief among students, faculty and alumnae has given way to anger, defiance and questions about the basis for the decision. “I just think it was handled so badly,” said Sweet Briar biology professor Lincoln Brower, one […]

"I'm Not Racist... Am I?" screens at the Paramount on February 26. Publicity photo

Documentary screening aims to get people talking about race

How do you get teens to talk about race in a way that prompts action and meaningful change? That’s a central question posed in the 2013 documentary “I’m Not Racist…Am I?,” which follows 12 New York City teenagers from diverse racial and socioeconomic backgrounds as they go through a series of workshops and conversations on […]

Charlottesville Commonwealth’s Attorney Dave Chapman said even years later, it can be valuable to report a sexual assault. Photo: Andrew Shurtleff.

Publicity prompts responses from other sexual assault victims

This story is part of our ongoing coverage in the wake of the Rolling Stone story on rape at UVA. There’s more: An in-depth look at the University’s sexual assault policy, a Q&A with Board of Visitors member Helen Dragas on her reaction to the story, responses from the Rolling Stone reporter and women she interviewed as well […]

Charlottesville-based attorney Jim Camblos appeared via video feed with Jesse L. Matthew Jr. in Fairfax Circuit Court on October 31. Photo courtesy Newsplex

Legal tangle: Who will represent accused Hannah Graham abductor?

A recent Virginia court appearance of accused Hannah Graham abductor Jesse L. Matthew Jr. is raising questions about who will represent him in what could be the most serious and complex set of prosecutions spanning multiple jurisdictions in recent memory. On Friday, October 31, Matthew appeared via video feed accompanied by his Charlottesville-based attorney Jim Camblos […]

Newsplex General Manager Jay Barton is temporarily acting as news director as the station reorganizes following layoffs. Photo: Courteney Stuart

Airing out: Increased fees lead to staff cuts at Newsplex

Seven people are out of work at the Newsplex television stations, according to the stations’ General Manager Jay Barton, who said the reduction in staff was prompted by an “exponential” increase in the affiliation agreements with the networks that provide the programming, and was achieved through layoffs and attrition. “The bottom line is the bottom […]

The forensic sketch at left was based on the account of the victim in a 2005 sexual assault in Fairfax. Jesse Matthew has pleaded not guilty in that case. Courtesy Fairfax Police/Albemarle Charlottesville Regional Jail

Accused Hannah Graham abductor indicted in Fairfax sexual assault

The man accused of abducting missing UVA student Hannah Graham and connected through forensic evidence to the 2009 disappearance and death of Morgan Harrington now faces charges stemming from a 2005 sexual assault in Northern Virginia. Jesse “LJ” Matthew, 32, has been indicted on attempted capital murder, abduction, and sexual penetration with an object charges […]

Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo and Albmarle Police Chief Steve Sellers spoke about the discovery of human remains at a press conference on October 18. Photo by Courteney Stuart

Remains found: Hannah Graham case becomes ongoing death investigation

One day after family members of several missing young women in Central Virginia marked the fifth anniversary of Morgan Harrington’s disappearance with a prayer that missing UVA student Hannah Graham would be found, police announced the discovery of remains that could be the 18-year-old on an abandoned property on Old Lynchburg Road in Albemarle County. […]

Emily Holter. Photo courtesy Charlottesville 29

Five Finds on Friday: Emily Holter

On Fridays, we feature five foods finds selected by local chefs and personalities. Today’s picks come from Emily Holter, of Sweethaus, the Charlottesville cupcake cafe that is poised to open a second location in Brooklyn. Holter’s picks: 1)  Wings and Nachos on football Sundays at Wild Wing Cafe.  “Doesn’t get much better than throwing on a jersey and hunkering down for a […]