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Judge Jean Harrison Clements

Feb 16, 2020

Convictions for illegal cigarette trafficking upheld

Appellant’s convictions for fraudulent cigarette purchases and illegal distribution are affirmed. Appellant did not have valid documentation when he made bulk cigarette purchases and submitted no documentation that he remitted sales tax on the 40,000 cigarettes he purchased “on three separate occasions within a short period of time.” Overview “Individuals engaged in illegal cigarette traff[...]

Dec 4, 2019

Sufficient evidence supports child cruelty conviction

Appellant’s argument that there was insufficient evidence to prove he inflicted the injuries found on a 4-year-old child’s body is belied by his admission to a police detective and a grand jury that he struck the child four times with a belt. His conviction for child cruelty is affirmed. Admitted conduct “Appellant maintains that the […]

Dec 4, 2019

Indecent liberties conviction reversed

Appellant’s exposure of his penis and genitalia to a child in a store, without more, was insufficient to convict him of taking indecent liberties with a child because there is no evidence that he had the requisite lascivious intent. His conviction is reversed. Relevant law “Code § 18.2-370(A)(1) provides, in pertinent part, that any adult […]

Dec 4, 2019

Evidence properly admitted in gang-crime prosecution

A high school student’s interview in his associate principal’s office that included the associate principal, a police detective and a school resource officer acting as the student’s translator was not a custodial interrogation, so no Miranda warnings were required. His admission that he was an active gang member was properly admitted at his trial for […]

Jul 21, 2019

Knee injury was related to prior covered injury

Testimony from the claimant and his doctors that his prior left knee injury caused his right knee injury was sufficient to support the commission’s decision. Background Claimant’s original injury was a left knee meniscal tear, which was treated by a “scope” of his knee.  Claimant had knee replacement surgery on his right knee in 2009. […]

Jul 21, 2019

Firearms conviction supported by testimony of multiple witnesses

Testimony from multiple witnesses, together with other testimony, including the defendant’s own telephone calls, supported his conviction for possession of a firearm. Background The evidence established that Erica Hutchings heard gunshots after 7 a.m. on Oct. 29, 2017, and saw a black man wearing a blue and white long-sleeved jacket, who was later identified as […]

May 13, 2019

Folded lottery tickets did not supply probable cause for search

Police officers did not have probable cause to search a defendant’s car based on the presence of folded lottery tickets in plain view because lottery tickets have a legitimate purpose and their incriminating nature was not immediately apparent. As a result, all evidence obtained during that search, including the defendant’s admissions, and in a subsequent […]

Nov 9, 2018

Claim that instructions were confusing fails

A defendant’s claim that jury instructions in his trial for forcible sodomy and sexual battery were confusing was speculation. Background On Oct. 2, 2015, the victim met the appellant at a bar in Fredericksburg around 11:30 p.m. The victim had been drinking wine at the friend’s house and had two drinks at the bar. About […]

Oct 29, 2018

Controlled substance was in jeans, possession proven

Where an inmate was wearing jeans at the time of a random, unannounced search, and officers found a controlled substance in the jeans, he possessed the controlled substance and his conviction is affirmed. Background On March 23, 2016, appellant and his cellmate, Jermaine Spruill, were in their cells when correctional officers conducted a random, unannounced […]

Oct 28, 2018

Reliance on treating physician’s testimony affirmed

The commission was entitled to give greater weight to the treating physician’s opinion and rely on his testimony that physical therapy and massage administered to manage an employee’s pain was reasonable, necessary and causally related to his work injury. Background Claimant suffered a single level (L2) compression fracture of his back when he fell off […]

Oct 28, 2018

Evidence of possible robbery prep won’t support convictions

Evidence that showed only possible preparation for a robbery and not that a planned robbery was imminent is insufficient to sustain a conviction for attempted robbery and the related conviction for use of firearm. Background At about 5:45 a.m. on Oct. 6, 2015, Petersburg police officers Binford and Seabridge saw a white Mercedes drive into […]

Oct 28, 2018

Failure to object doomed speedy trial arguments

Because a prisoner failed to file a timely objection to a continuance and agreed to a new trial date before objection, no speedy trial violation occurred. Background In June 2014, appellant was sentenced to five years in prison, with four years and nine months suspended. In July 2015, the trial court found that appellant had […]

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