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Tag Archives: Justice William C. Mims

Evidentiary hearing required for actual innocence claim (access required)

Where defendant petitioned for a writ of actual innocence based on nonbiological evidence, the Court of Appeals abused its discretion by dismissing the petition without ordering an evidentiary hearing. The appeals court concluded defendant did not prove the truth of ...

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Continuance properly denied after counsel was retained (access required)

Defendant was not entitled to a continuance under a statute that provides the court “shall” grant a reasonable continuance when a defendant represented by a court-appointed attorney becomes financially able to retain private counsel. The statute does not confer a ...

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Decedent’s son could testify about dad’s car crash statements (access required)

Where the decedent rear-ended the plaintiff’s car, his description of the accident to his son  was correctly admitted under the dead man’s statute. The fact that the decedent’s passenger testified about the crash at trial has no bearing on the ...

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Dead men speak: Statute permits unlimited hearsay (access required)

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A sharp dispute over personal injury damages in a rear-ender has spotlighted Virginia’s limitless hearsay exception allowing evidence of any relevant statement by a deceased party, regardless of circumstances. The fender-bender plaintiff came away from trial with a zero-dollar verdict, ...

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SCV: Bifurcated, same-day conviction was felony predicate (access required)

A bifurcated misdemeanor conviction for domestic violence properly served as a predicate for a felony offense tried later the same day, even though no written order or sentence had yet been rendered for the first adjudication. Background Appellant Antonio Lewis ...

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