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Author Archives: Deborah Elkins

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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Negligence – Parent Host – Teen Driver – Assumption Of Duty (access required)

A parent who allegedly heard the dad of her daughter’s 14-year-old friend expressly say, “No boys with cars,” must face a wrongful death claim filed by the girl’s estate, the Supreme Court of Virginia says; the high court reverses a ...

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Criminal – Sexually Violent Predator – Civil Commitment (access required)

A trial court did not err in dismissing the commonwealth’s petition to commit this rape defendant as a sexually violent predator, the Virginia Supreme Court says, despite expert evidence supporting the petition. The trial court concluded that the commonwealth did ...

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