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Criminal Law

CAV: Attempted capital murder conviction upheld (access required)

A man who initiated a gun fight with a law enforcement officer, apparently while under the influence of alcohol and marijuana, unsuccessfully challenged the trial court’s evidentiary rulings and accepted jury instructions. Background David Frizzell appeals his convictions for attempted ...

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SCV: Totality of circumstances justified vehicle search (access required)

When the search of a driver who’d appeared nervous and fidgety produced a digital scale with apparent cocaine residue on it, the circumstances supported probable cause for officers to search his vehicle, where they found drugs and a handgun. Background ...

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EDVA: Devices reasonably seized from Manafort condo (access required)

A warrant to search Paul Manafort’s Alexandria condo and to seize various electronic devices and media related to his bank and tax fraud offenses was constitutional on its face and constitutionally executed. Background At issue in this multi-count bank and ...

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4th Cir.: Fraud conspirator must forfeit only her own proceeds (access required)

Under recent U.S. Supreme Court precedent, a defendant convicted in a mortgage fraud conspiracy could not be ordered to forfeit the total amount of losses from the conspiracy – over $1.5 million – when she personally had received only $231,000 ...

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4th Cir.: Market value should dictate recovery for stolen merchandise (access required)

In calculating appropriate restitution to be paid by a video-game thief, the district court erred in accepting the victim’s unsubstantiated estimate of replacement costs, rather than requiring evidence on fair market value. Background Appellant Dominic Steele was convicted of postal ...

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CAV: Records from national pawn shop database admissible (access required)

In a grand larceny trial relating to stolen jewelry, printouts from LeadsOnline, which stores resellers’ purchase records for cooperation with law enforcement agencies, were admissible under the business-records exception to the hearsay rule. Background Appellant Joseph Melick was convicted in ...

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CAV: No revocation after good-behavior term expires (access required)

Despite the defendant’s probation violations, the circuit court lacked jurisdiction to reinstate his previously suspended prison time after the suspendion period had elapsed. Background On December 14, 1993, Green pleaded guilty to one count of felony arson. The trial court ...

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CAV: After plea deal, withdrawal would prejudice state (access required)

A defendant who’d agreed to plead guilty to murder could not withdraw his plea, fairly negotiated, based on the subsequent discovery of a witness with potentially exculpatory testimony. Background Appellant Franklin Thomason was at his home with his girlfriend and ...

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