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COURT OF APPEALS OF VIRGINIA
Present: Judges Benton, Clements and Senior Judge Willis
Argued at Richmond, Virginia
Record No. 1390-02-2
ASHLEY NICOLE JARRETT
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA
BY JUDGE JEAN HARRISON CLEMENTS
OCTOBER 7, 2003
FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF CHESTERFIELD COUNTY
Herbert C. Gill, Jr., Judge
Edwin F. Brooks for appellant.
William W. Muse, Senior Assistant Attorney General (Jerry W.
Kilgore, Attorney General, on brief), for appellee.
Juvenile appellant Ashley Nicole Jarrett was convicted in a
bench trial of obstruction of
justice, in violation of Code ? 18.2-460, and assault and
battery of a police officer, in violation of
Code ? 18.2-57(C). The trial court sentenced Jarrett to
commitment to the Department of Juvenile
Justice (DJJ) for an indefinite period of time. On appeal,
Jarrett contends she was denied due
process when she was not given credit for time served in
juvenile detention before her commitment.
Finding no error, we affirm the trial court’s judgment.
As the parties are fully conversant with the record in this case
and because this
memorandum opinion carries no precedential value, this opinion
recites only those facts and
incidents of the proceedings as are necessary to the parties’
understanding of the disposition of this
The relevant facts in this appeal are not in dispute. Jarrett,
who was born on July 13, 1986,
served approximately six months in secure detention while
awaiting trial in this case. At the
dispositional hearing, which was held on April 25, 2002,
Jarrett’s attorney argued as follows:
[W]hen a juvenile like [Jarrett] is committed[,] the time she
for the detention[,] in this case, the six months, is not
her time committed with the Department of Juvenile Justice.
* * * * * * *
. . . This time is not counted, and it is basically dead time.
[Jarrett] has essentially been detained for six months. We
would ask the Court to take that into consideration in fixing
The trial court sentenced Jarrett to commitment to DJJ for an
indeterminate period not to
exceed thirty-six continuous months. See Code ??
16.1-278.8(A)(14) and 16.1-285. The trial
court’s sentencing order expressly provided, in relevant part,
Credit for time served. The defendant shall be given credit for
spent in confinement while awaiting trial pursuant to Code
It is axiomatic that the purpose of a direct appeal is to review
specific errors that may have
been committed by the court below. See Rule 5A:18; see also
Yeatts v. Murray, 249 Va. 285,
290-91, 455 S.E.2d 18, 21-22 (1995); Rule 5:17.
In this appeal, Jarrett’s sole claim of error is that the trial
court "did not consider the
extensive time [she] served in the Chesterfield County Juvenile
Detention Home before her
April 25, 2002 sentencing when it sentenced her." In
support of that claim, Jarrett argues that,
unlike adults and juveniles transferred to the circuit court to
be tried as adults, who receive credit
under Code ? 53.1-187 for time served while awaiting trial,
juveniles incarcerated in juvenile
detention awaiting trial in the juvenile and domestic relations
district court do not receive credit for
time served. DJJ does not consider time served in determining a
juvenile’s release date, she asserts.
Thus, she argues, she was denied due process because she was not
given credit for the time she
served in juvenile detention before her commitment. In stating
the relief she seeks, Jarrett requests
only that we "reverse the sentence imposed in this case by
the trial [c]ourt" and "remand the case to
the [trial court] with instructions to sentence [her] with due
consideration given to the time she has
served in juvenile detention prior to her commitment to
Upon our review of the record, we conclude that Jarrett’s appeal
lacks merit. The record
plainly shows that, in response to Jarrett’s request at the
dispositional hearing that her time served be
taken into account in "fixing [her] punishment," the
trial court expressly directed in its commitment
order that Jarrett "be given credit for time spent in
confinement awaiting trial pursuant to Code
[?] 53.1-187." Thus, while Code ? 53.1-187 has no
applicability to juveniles in Jarrett’s situation
and may not serve as authority for the trial court’s directive,
the trial court, in fact, granted Jarrett the
precise relief she requested. Hence, she will not now be heard
to claim the trial court erred. See
Buchanan v. Commonwealth, 238 Va. 389, 400-01, 384 S.E.2d 757,
764 (1989) (holding that a
defendant may not be heard to complain on appeal when the lower
court took the very action
requested by the defendant).
Moreover, as alluded to by Jarrett in her argument, where an
indeterminate commitment to
DJJ is ordered, the length of stay is determined by DJJ, not the
trial court. See Code ? 16.1-285.
Thus, if Jarrett believes DJJ failed to credit her for time
served in accordance with the trial court’s
order or denied her due process, her claim of error is against
DJJ and direct appeal to this Court is
not the appropriate method to address the claim.
Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.
Code ? 17.1-413, this opinion is not designated for publication.