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Criminal Law

Victim’s Body Never Found, But Murder Conviction Stands (access required)

The court of appeals concluded that appellant Michael Anthony Edwards was tried for murder in the proper venue and that his conviction was supported by sufficient evidence. Edwards had been romantically involved with the victim, Leyla Namiranian, a Chesterfield resident. ...

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Sentencing – Procedurally Unreasonable – Downward Departure Arguments (access required)

In imposing a within-Guidelines sentence on defendant for armed robbery and brandishing a firearm during a crime of violence, the district court made cursory reference to two of defendant’s arguments for a downward departure (his opiate addiction and the influence ...

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Child Pornography – First Impression – Peer-to-Peer Sharing – ‘Distribution’ (access required)

The 4th Circuit joins its sister circuits in holding that, where files have been downloaded from a defendant’s collection of child pornography images, use of a file-sharing program constitutes distribution under 18 U.S.C. § 2252A. We affirm the district court’s ...

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Habeas Petition – Constitutional – Solicitation of a Minor (access required)

After MacDonald v. Moose, 710 F.3d 154 (4th Cir. 2013), declared the former version of Virginia’s sodomy statute, Va. Code § 18.2-361(A), to be facially invalid under Lawrence v. Texas, 539 U.S. 558 (2003), Virginia’s Supreme Court held that the ...

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Elements of Conspiracy to Possess with the Intent to Distribute Cocaine – Constructive Possession (access required)

Williams v. Commonwealth (VLW No. 017-6-098, 5pp.) (order) Record No. 170101. Appealed from the Court of Appeals of Virginia. Holding: Where the appellant-defendant’s conviction of possession with the intent to distribute cocaine was based on a finding that he conspired ...

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Constitutional – Procedural Due Process – Revocation of Suspended Sentence (access required)

Washington v. Commonwealth (VLW No. 017-7-274, 12 pp.) (Decker, J.) Appealed from Hampton Circuit Court (Taylor, J.) Va. App. Unpub. Holding:  Following defendant’s arrest for violating his probation by using drugs, the drug treatment court held a hearing terminating him ...

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