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Virginia Supreme Court Awards Appeal in Murder Case

Adkins v. Commonwealth | A Writ on Appeal

Joseph King represents defendant-appellant on appeal challenging murder conviction.

On October 3, the Virginia Supreme Court awarded a writ in a murder case where Joe King represents the appellant on appeal.

What does an Award of Writ Mean?

The award of a writ means the court will hear the case on the merits and consider whether to reverse or affirm the appellant’s conviction.

Rashad Adkins v. Commonwealth of Virginia

The opening brief is due November 13 and the case will likely be decided next year. 

Argument for a Writ in a Murder Case

The issues presented in the case accepted by the Court are:

1. ​The Court of Appeals erred in affirming the trial court’s denial of Appellant’s motion to suppress his statement where the Appellant invoked his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent upon stating he had nothing more to say to a police detective, the police detective ended the interrogation, and another police detective from different jurisdiction re-initiated the interrogation about a new offense approximately five minutes later.

2. The Court of Appeals erred in affirming the trial court’s denial of Appellant’s request for a mutual combat jury instruction where there was more than a scintilla of evidence of mutual combat, including an argument between Appellant and decedent that reasonably could have been viewed as an agreement to fight, people gathering to view the fight, people egging on both Appellant and decedent to fight, and an actual physical altercation.

Attorneys from King Campbell Poretz Mitchell also represented Mr. Adkins at trial.


Man who fatally shot another over $20 found guilty in Alexandria. Rachel Weiner, The Washington Post, January 26, 2017.

Man Convicted in 2015 Murder in Alexandria. Julie Carey and David Culver, NBC 4 Washington, January 26, 2017.

Alexandria murder trial underscores police challenges.  Rachel Weiner, The Washington Post, January 25, 2017.

Man charged in fatal Va. shooting. WUSA 9, June 9, 2016.

Alexandria police make arrest in 2015 North Fayette Street homicide. Alexandria Times, June 9, 2016.