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Author Archives: Deborah Elkins

Criminal – Petit Larceny – Shoplifting Link Belts (access required)

A store assistant manager who observed defendant pick up link belt packages, about a foot long and four inches wide, and progress through the store and out the door without paying for the link belts, and who challenged defendant about ...

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Criminal – Grand Larceny – Conspiracy (access required)

A trial court should have granted a mistrial when the jury during the penalty phase disavowed its verdict on a felony charge of conspiracy to commit grand larceny, which the jury said it thought was a misdemeanor charge, and the ...

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Criminal – Surveillance Videotape – Witness Description (access required)

The Court of Appeals affirms defendant’s grand larceny conviction, despite his claim that the trial court erred in allowing two witnesses to describe what they saw when they watched a videotape that was never admitted into evidence at defendant’s trial. ...

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Criminal – Larceny Into Robbery – Cell Phone (access required)

Although a 15-year-old boy, who was skateboarding when he and his friends were hassled by defendant and his friends, got his cell phone back shortly after defendant took it and used it after appearing to pull a “flat, black object” ...

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Criminal – Involuntary Manslaughter – High-Speed Police Pursuit (access required)

A defendant who drove recklessly at up to 110 mph to elude police can be convicted of involuntary manslaughter for a death that resulted when the pursuing officer struck another vehicle at an intersection, the Virginia Supreme Court says. Defendant ...

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Criminal – Habeas – Ineffective Assistance – Traffic Stop (access required)

A habeas petitioner cannot show he was prejudiced by his trial counsel’s failure to challenge the traffic stop because the deputy who made the stop articulated a reasonable suspicion for believing defendant was rolling a marijuana cigarette when the deputy ...

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Search & Seizure – Consensual Encounter – Apartment Complex ‘Ban List’ (access required)

Police did not violate defendant’s Fourth Amendment rights when they approached him at an apartment complex, asked if he lived there, asked for ID, and did not explicitly tell defendant he could leave while they checked his information and whether ...

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Criminal – Competency – Dueling Experts – Jailhouse Behavior (access required)

A defendant who shot at a neighbor couple in a passing car, fatally injuring the wife, because he thought the couple kept shooting him with gamma rays and microwaves, was competent to stand trial, according to the Virginia Supreme Court; ...

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Criminal – Firearm – Drugs – Constructive Possession (access required)

A defendant can be convicted of possession of a firearm in violation of Va. Code § 18.2-308.4(C) while possessing a controlled substance with intent to distribute, based on constructive possession; the Supreme Court of Virginia says the commonwealth does not ...

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Administrative – Environmental – COPC – Electric Utility Lines (access required)

The Supreme Court of Virginia upholds the State Corporation Commission’s order granting certificates of public convenience and necessity to two electric utilities, VEPCO and Trans-Allegheny, for construction and operation of two Virginia segments of a proposed 500 kilovolt transmission line ...

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