Rape Virginia Larceny Murder Abduction Lawyers Bedford County

Rape Virginia Larceny Murder Abduction Lawyers Bedford County


The Defendant’s wife had prepared an affidavit in support of a protective order, which was issued prior to the events that led to her murder. Before trial, defendant sought suppression of the affidavit as testimonial hearsay. Defendant was convicted of capital murder, abduction with intent to defile, rape, grand larceny, and use of a firearm (two counts), violations of Va. Code Ann. §§ 18.2-48, 18.2-53.1, 18.2-61, 18.2-95. A divided panel of the Court of Appeals (Virginia) reversed all of defendant’s convictions except the one for grand larceny. The Commonwealth petitioned for a rehearing. Upon rehearing, defendant’s convictions were affirmed. Defendant appealed.

Rape Virginia Larceny Murder Abduction Lawyers Bedford County

Rape Virginia Larceny Murder Abduction Lawyers

  • Whether a conviction for crime should stand when a State has failed to accord federal constitutional guaranteed rights?

The trial court held that although the affidavit was hearsay, defendant forfeited his right to confrontation with respect to the statements under the doctrine of forfeiture by wrongdoing. Consequently, the trial court admitted a redacted copy of the affidavit. The trial court incorrectly applied the forfeiture doctrine by not considering defendant’s intent. However, the admission of the affidavit into evidence at trial, although violative of defendant’s U.S. Const. amend. VI right to confrontation was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt for each of defendant’s convictions. The evidence, independent of the affidavit, was sufficient to support all of the convictions. The affidavit was merely cumulative of other evidence properly before the jury. The Court of Appeals erred in failing to address defendant’s sufficiency argument with respect to the convictions for abduction with intent to defile and rape.

The court affirmed the judgment.
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Article written by A Sris

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These summaries are provided by the SRIS Law Group. They represent the firm’s unofficial views of the Justices’ opinions. The original opinions should be consulted for their authoritative content.

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