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Author Archives: Deborah Elkins

Criminal – Cocaine Possession – Sufficiency (access required)

Although defendant tried to claim the cocaine police found in his apartment bedroom, when responding to a call from his girlfriend that he had just stabbed her in the leg and assaulted her, did not belong to him, there was ...

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Traffic Offenses – DUI – Reckless Driving – Breath Test Offer (access required)

Admitting at defendant’s trial evidence that he was offered breath tests was harmless error, the Court of Appeals says, as there was overwhelming evidence that defendant drove while intoxicated. The evidence at trial proved that defendant drove his car at ...

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Domestic Relations – Bigamous Marriage – ‘Cure’ – Annulment (access required)

A wife can annul her marriage to her husband two years later where his divorce was not final at the time the parties married; the Court of Appeals says “corrective measures” taken by the wife – persuading the pastor who ...

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Criminal – Obstruction Of Justice – False Name (access required)

A defendant who ran into the woods as police were investigating as stolen the vehicle defendant had been driving, cannot be convicted of obstruction of justice based on his flight and having originally given police a false name; the Court ...

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Search & Seizure – Assault On Elderly Neighbor – Exigent Circumstances (access required)

A 94-year-old woman who described scratching and biting the man who attacked her and attempted to rape her, and told the responding police that defendant, her neighbor, came to mind as the possible assailant, provided police with probable cause to ...

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Criminal – Forcible Sodomy – Victim’s Mental Incapacity (access required)

Evidence that a 16-year-old girl with an IQ of 46 could not care for herself and needed constant supervision was sufficient to establish her mental incapacity, and defendant’s forcible sodomy conviction under Va. Code § 18.2-67.10(3) is affirmed by the ...

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Civil Procedure – Removal – Remand – Legal Malpractice (access required)

A plaintiff who sues his former attorney for breach of contract for allegedly failing to timely serve defendant in a Title VII suit, and failing to “represent plaintiff with zeal and professionalism,” has his improperly removed suit remanded back to ...

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Negligence – Premises Liability – Hotel Room Desk (access required)

A woman who alleges she was injured when she was using the desk in her hotel room and it pulled away from the wall and fell on top of her, can sue for negligence based on her claim that the ...

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Contract – Limitations – Equitable Estoppel (access required)

In this contract action transferred from the Eastern District, a Roanoke U.S. District Court says plaintiff can go forward with a breach of contract claim for nonpayment for a motor controller, based on plaintiff’s theory that the one-year statute of ...

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Criminal – Habeas – Capital Murder – Guilty Plea – Ineffective Assistance (access required)

A Roanoke U.S. District Court denies post-conviction relief to a woman who pleaded guilty to capital murder for hire of her husband and adult step-son in order to collect insurance money. Weighing the aggravating circumstances surrounding the murders against the ...

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