Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Judge Clifford L. Athey Jr.

Apr 16, 2020

Wife assented to property settlement

Where wife was presented with a property settlement agreement and accepted it without objection, the trial court properly incorporated it into the final decree of divorce. Agreement “[W]e impute to wife an intention corresponding to the reasonable meaning of her words and acts, which objectively communicated her assent that the agreement end the litigation. Her […]

Apr 16, 2020

No post-separation mortgage reimbursement

Where the parties’ premarital agreement did not address the payment of marital debt during the marriage or up to the time of a divorce, wife cannot rely upon the agreement to insist that husband reimburse her for half of the mortgage payments she made while the couple was separated. Background The parties were married in […]

Apr 11, 2020

Experts properly testified in parental right case

Where two experts in this parental rights termination case offered opinion testimony, appellant cannot attack the testimony on the basis that they used “unreliable, unscientific, and outmoded testing methods.” Further, there was clear and convincing evidence to support the circuit court’s termination of appellant’s parental rights. Background Appellant’s child, C.P., came into the Nelson[...]

Mar 16, 2020

Sufficient evidence supports unlawful wounding convictions

In a fight among three brothers, in which two were stabbed and appellant was the only one armed with a knife, the trial court’s conviction of two counts of unlawful wounding is affirmed. Further, the trial court correctly rejected appellant’s claim of self-defense. Unlawful wounding Appellant Dustin Gram argues on appeal there was insufficient evidence […]

Mar 16, 2020

Issue presented on appeal not raised in trial court

Where appellant was convicted of practicing a profession or occupation without a valid license, his conviction is affirmed because the argument he presented on appeal was never presented to the trial court. Background Two homeowners directed their real estate agent, Bertinelli, to contract with appellant Riddel to inspect and, if necessary, repair their home’s septic […]

Mar 16, 2020

Protective order service return statements not testimonial

Where appellant was convicted of attempting to obtain a firearm while subject to a protective order, he had no right to confront and cross-examine the deputy who completed the certificate of service reflecting that appellant was personally served with an extension of the protective order. Background Chawlk sought to extend a preliminary protective order against […]

Mar 8, 2020

Record supports finding claimant could return to work

Where each of claimant’s treating physicians concluded that he could return to work, the workers’ compensation commission correctly terminated his open temporary total disability benefits award. Further, the commission correctly determined the employer was not liable for the costs of a diagnostic procedure related to his back when the disability award was for an ankle […]

Mar 8, 2020

Evidence found in mint container excluded

Drug evidence in a mint container found in the vehicle appellant was driving will be suppressed. The police lacked probable cause to search the container and no exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement applied. Overview Hudgens, a police officer, stopped the car appellant Baker was driving for a defective headlight. Benton, the passenger, owned […]

Mar 8, 2020

Incest conviction for sex with adult stepdaughter affirmed

Where appellant pleaded guilty to committing incest by having sexual intercourse with his 18-year-old stepdaughter, conditioned on appealing “on the sole basis that the circuit court erred ‘when it refused to find that Virginia Code § 18.2-366 is unconstitutional when it criminalizes sexual relations between adults not related by blood[,]’” he cannot argue on appeal […]

Feb 28, 2020

Blood alcohol test result admissible in manslaughter case

Where appellant ran from the scene of a fatal car crash, was escorted back by police officers and, while receiving treatment for his injuries, police initiated a DUI investigation of the crash, he was not in custody until an officer arrested him for drunk driving and advised him of his Miranda rights. His motion to […]

Feb 21, 2020

Manslaughter instruction not required at murder trial

Assuming, without deciding, that there was sufficient evidence to support a manslaughter instruction at appellant’s first-degree murder trial, any error in failing to given the requested instruction would be harmless. Because the jury returned a first-degree murder verdict, it never would have reached the issue of manslaughter. Appellant’s conviction is affirmed. Overview The evidence, taken [[...]

Feb 21, 2020

Hearsay evidence of victim’s violent nature inadmissible

Where appellant offered a self-defense claim to a second-degree murder charge, the trial court properly excluded portions of his police interview containing hearsay statements relating to the victim’s violent reputation. The court allowed appellant to present non-hearsay evidence to bolster his self-defense claim. Appellant’s conviction is affirmed. Background Appellant Givens surrendered to p[...]

Verdicts & Settlements

See All Verdicts & Settlements

Opinion Digests

See All Digests