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Convictions upheld for man who contacted jurors

Court-of-AppealsA Spotsylvania County man who tried to contact jurors who convicted his son lost his appeal of his own criminal convictions Tuesday at the Court of Appeals of Virginia.

Herbert Lux Jr. apparently has strong opinions about law and justice. He delivered an outburst on the witness stand at his son’s 2011 trial, accusing the Spotsylvania County prosecutor of misconduct.

After his son was convicted of reckless handling of a firearm, Lux sought to talk with members of the jury. Some jurors called the court clerk to say Lux had visited them at their homes.

Circuit Judge David Beck ordered no further use of the jurors’ personal contact information. Lux was served with a copy of the order. A sheriff’s sergeant later told him he would be arrested for trespassing if he went to another juror’s home.

Nevertheless, Lux went to the home of another juror and talked with her husband in the couple’s front yard, giving him a flier that outlined complaints about the son’s case.

Lux was convicted of obstruction of justice and entering property for the purpose of interfering with the owner’s use.

Saying the evidence supported the conclusion that Lux’s unannounced visit was to interfere with the couple’s “peaceful use of their property,” the Court of Appeals affirmed his convictions.

The court also turned aside a challenge to the authority of retired Judge Thomas S. Shadrick, who heard the case as judge designate. Because Shadrick took the oath of office when he began service as a judge, he was not required to retake the oath before presiding over Lux’s trial, the court held.

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