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Virginia Court of Appeals

Nov 22, 2022

Statute banning search based on pot odor not retroactive

Where the police conducted a search based on the smell of marijuana coming from a vehicle, appellant’s motion to suppress, based on a statute banning such searches, was correctly denied. The statute became effective after the search was conducted. Two Court of Appeals panels have ruled the statute is not retroactive. Background In April 2019, […]

Nov 22, 2022

Evidence supports firearm offense conviction

Where appellant was convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm, there was sufficient evidence that he actually possessed the firearm. Someone else? “Jackson argues that the circuit court erred by denying his motion to strike because the evidence was insufficient to prove that he knowingly or intentionally possessed the firearm. Rather, Jackson […]

Nov 22, 2022

Sufficient evidence for murder conviction

Where appellant initially told police he had no idea who shot him and moved to strike at trial because the prosecution did not exclude the possibility that his wife shot him and then committed suicide, the trial court correctly denied the motion. “Viewing this evidence in its totality, a rational trier of fact could have […]

Nov 22, 2022

Public assistance falsely obtained

Where appellant was convicted of falsely applying for public assistance and two counts of falsely obtaining public assistance, there is sufficient evidence that she signed two required interim reports, falsely representing that she was not working and had no income. Evidentiary issue “Canty argues that the evidence is insufficient to sustain her convictions because the […]

Nov 22, 2022

No retroactive application of sentencing limitation

Where the court revoked appellant probationer’s two-year previously suspended sentence, it was not limited to imposing a 14-day sentence for his technical violations. The statute imposing such limitation did not become effective until after his violations. Appellant’s due process argument fails because on appeal, he is taking a position inconsistent with his position in the […]

Nov 22, 2022

No undue delay in traffic stop to obtain search dog

Where a search of appellant’s truck revealed a firearm, and a police dog alerted to the drugs in the vehicle, the trial court correctly concluded that the police did not unduly delay the stop while waiting for the dog and its handler to arrive at the scene. There was no illegal search. As a result […]

Nov 22, 2022

Fires deliberately set in arson case

Where appellant was convicted of arson, there was sufficient evidence that she deliberately set the fires. Overview Appellant Young said she had been lost in the woods for several days when she came upon a cabin. She slept on the deck and set several fires in and around the cabin, which caused $14,000 in damages […]

Nov 22, 2022

Conviction for assaulting a police officer affirmed

Where appellant was convicted of assault and battery of a law enforcement officer, there was sufficient evidence that appellant deliberately struck the officer’s head with his while the officer was trying to restrain him. Intentional act “Edmunds argues that the evidence is insufficient to sustain his conviction because no evidence established that he intended to […]

Nov 14, 2022

Equitable distribution and support issues resolved

The trial court did not abuse its discretion in the equitable distribution of the parties’ assets or by awarding wife support for a limited duration. Background The parties were married in 1991 and separated in 2004. The Loudoun Circuit Court ordered husband to pay $4,000 per month in support. In March 2005, the parties sent […]

Nov 14, 2022

Malicious wounding convictions supported

There was sufficient evidence to support appellant’s conviction for seven counts of malicious wounding arising from a boating incident. Overview Appellant’s “jon boat” ran out of gas in the middle of a river channel. As he was changing gas tanks, Creekmore, with six others on his 17-foot boat, was approaching appellant. Creekmore testified that he […]

Nov 14, 2022

Sufficient evidence of intent in malicious wounding case

In this malicious wounding case, the trial court correctly resolved conflicting testimony and credited the victim’s account of the evidence. The court correctly found that appellant acted with malice and thus had the necessary intent to be convicted. Appellant’s conviction is affirmed. Background According to Cosby, appellant King’s victim, Cosby and Branham had a “negative […]

Nov 14, 2022

No statutory speedy trial violation

The trial court correctly rejected appellant’s statutory speedy trial claim. Under recent caselaw, the natural disaster exception to the five-month speedy trial requirement in Code § 19.2-243(7) applies to judicial emergency declarations relating to the COVID-19 pandemic. Statutory claim “Stephenson argues that the trial court violated her statutory right to a speedy trial by ordering [&helli[...]

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