Home / Fulltext Opinions / Supreme Court of Virginia / LOCKHART v. COMMONWEALTH


Record No. 950114 February 1, 1996




Upon an appeal from a judgment rendered by the Court of Appeals of Virginia on the 20th day of December, 1994.

Upon consideration of the record, briefs, and argument of counsel, the Court is of opinion that no error exists in the judgment of the Court of Appeals. See Lockhart v. Commonwealth, 19 Va. App. 436, 451 S.E.2d 421 (1994). The Court of Appeals, sitting en banc, affirmed without opinion by an equally divided court a judgment entered on January 22, 1992 by the Circuit Court of Prince William County and withdrew an opinion rendered on April 26, 1994 by a panel of the Court of Appeals. See Lockhart v. Commonwealth, 18 Va. App. 254, 443 S.E.2d 428 (1994).

The central issue is whether the circuit court erred by allowing testimony in this drug distribution case regarding facts surrounding an arrest of defendant for a drug offense that occurred eight months after the arrest in the present case.

The record discloses that defense counsel, during cross-examination of a prosecution witness, both by a statement made in the jury’s presence and by questioning of the witness, voluntarily and with the apparent purpose of improving defendant’s standing before the jury, put in issue defendant’s alleged innocence of other drug transactions to create an impression in defendant’s favor, which the prosecution was justified in rebutting. Roy v. Commonwealth, 191 Va. 722, 726-28, 62 S.E.2d 902, 903-04 (1951); Locke v. Commonwealth, 149 Va. 447, 451-52, 141 S.E. 118, 120 (1928); Harris v. Commonwealth, 129 Va. 751, 753-54, 105 S.E. 541, 542 (1921).

Accordingly, the judgment from which this appeal is taken is affirmed.

Justice Koontz took no part in the consideration of this case.

This order shall be certified to the Court of Appeals and to the said circuit court, and shall be published in the Virginia Reports.

A Copy,


David B. Beach,


I need an opinion!…NOW!
The full-text of EVERY opinion that is reported on
in Lawyers Weekly is available on our Automated Opinion Service (AOS).
You can order opinions 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Opinions can be faxed, mailed or sent by overnight delivery.

Lawyers Weekly USA: 1-800-933-5594

Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly: 1-800-933-5594

Rhode Island Lawyers Weekly: 1-800-933-5594

Michigan Lawyers Weekly: 1-800-766-0529

Missouri Lawyers Weekly: 1-800-685-2147

North Carolina Lawyers Weekly: 1-800-283-1093

Virginia Lawyers Weekly: 1-800-933-5599

Send any comments to comments@lweekly.com
© Copyright 1996 Lawyers Weekly, Inc.
All Rights Reserved.