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Judge Stephen R. McCullough

Dec 6, 2012

Mom’s Huffing Not Felony Neglect

The Court of Appeals reverses mother’s jury trial convictions for felony child neglect for insufficient evidence; mother huffing computer cleaner in her apartment in the presence of her two young sons does not show the boys were exposed to a probability or substantial risk of injury required for conviction under Va. Code § 18.2-371.1(B)(1). Mother […]

Nov 29, 2012

Joint Title for Inherited Parcel Upheld

Although husband testified at trial that a parcel of property was inherited by his relatives and he did not realize wife’s name was on a loan and deed for the property, both parties also stated on the record that they wanted the trial court to leave the property jointly titled and not do anything else […]

Nov 29, 2012

Proximity Insufficient for Possession

Defendant is entitled to reversal of her conviction for felon possession of ammunition, the Court of Appeals says; no record evidence shows defendant was even aware of the ammunition concealed in a magazine within a holster pouch; defendant had only known the car owner a few days and no evidence shows she had ever been […]

Nov 20, 2012

Consent Order Did Not Control Child Support

Although the parties’ consent order included a detailed revision of their custody arrangement, provided for payment of GAL fees and stated that “all other provisions” of the final divorce and the PSA “not inconsistent” with the consent order would remain in effect, the Court of Appeals agrees with husband that the trial court erred in […]

Nov 9, 2012

JDR ‘Dispositional Order’ Was Final

A “dispositional order” transferring legal and physical custody of appellant’s grandchild to DSS and granting visitation to the child’s mother, after appellant was observed passing fraudulent prescriptions in the child’s presence and was charged with prescription fraud, was a “final order” and the circuit court had no jurisdiction to review the JDR order because appellant […]

Nov 9, 2012

‘Two-Step’ Interrogation Guidelines Set

A defendant who appeared at a police station saying he needed to be arrested for his actions, and handed over a note stating he had placed his estranged wife “in a bag on the porch,” cannot suppress statements confessing to strangling his wife, offered after Miranda warnings, and the Court of Appeals affirms defendant’s conviction […]

Oct 22, 2012

Bulge Insufficient for Firearms Conviction

The Court of Appeals reverses defendant’s conviction for using a firearm to commit robbery for insufficient evidence:  store employee testimony about seeing a bulge under defendant’s shirt does not prove the requisite instrumentality capable of firing. After being told a restaurant had no employment applications, defendant returned, went to the restroom and emerged with something […]

Oct 22, 2012

Co-Embezzlers Sentenced Differently

Former chief financial officer (CFO) is not entitled to reversal of her three 10-year concurrent sentences for embezzling over $1.2 million from her employer, the Court of Appeals says; the trial court did nothing improper reviewing the presentence report of the chief executive officer (CEO) who received four ten year sentences with nine years suspended […]

Oct 22, 2012

Rapist Gets Life Sentence

The Court of Appeals affirms defendant’s bench trial convictions for rape, sodomy, object sexual penetration and abduction with intent to defile, requiring a life sentence under Va. Code § 18.2-67.5:3 due to his prior child rape conviction; the severity of sentence does not affect the reasonable doubt standard:  the evidence proved defendant physically restrained victim […]

Oct 22, 2012

Robber’s Increased Sentence Reversed

After a jury convicted defendant of armed robbery and sentenced him to 15  years, the trial court increased his sentence to 20 years; applying the ends of justice exception, the Court of Appeals reverses under Batts v. Commonwealth, 30 Va. App. 1 (1999), and remands for a new sentencing hearing. Victim was robbed by two […]

Aug 17, 2012

Warranty Overcharge Claim Remanded to Agency

The Department of Motor Vehicles erred in its interpretation of Va. Code § 46.2-1571 to find invalid a chargeback of $57,333.60 and reduction in appellant Navistar’s hourly rate for warranty work for New Baltimore Garage, and the Court of Appeals reverses the circuit court decision upholding the agency order and remands for a new hearing. […]

Aug 9, 2012

No Child Support Credit for Tuition Payments

A trial court erred in crediting a father’s tuition payments toward his child support obligation because the parties had no agreement allowing such a credit; although father signed an answer prepared by mother’s attorney when mother sought annulment of their bigamous marriage, he cannot be held in contempt for failure to pay child support as […]

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