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Virginia Supreme Court Reverses Murder Conviction | Adkins v. Commonwealth

On March 28, 2019, the Virginia Supreme Court reversed Mr. Adkins’ convictions for second degree murder and use of a firearm in the commission thereof (along with a 43 year prison sentence) after finding that the trial court improperly denied his motion to suppress statements to law enforcement, which statements were used against him at trial.  Joseph King and Lauren LeBourgoeis represent Mr. Adkins on appeal. Mr. King argued the case on February 28, 2019 before the Virginia Supreme Court. 

Rare Virginia Supreme Court Reversal of Conviction

In its opinion, the Virginia Supreme Court found that Adkins’ statement “I don’t have no more to say to you” to police detectives was an unambiguous invocation of his right to silence “because the context (in which the statement was made) d[id] not reasonably support any other interpretation.” This prohibited his further interrogation.

The prevailing assignment of error to the Virginia Supreme Court asserted that the “[t]he 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 reinitiated the interrogation about a new offense approximately 5 minutes later.”

The Supreme Court has ordered the case be remanded for a new trial if the Commonwealth be so advised.

Post-Conviction and Appeals Attorney | Alexandria, VA

If considering appealing or filing a writ of habeas corpus, it is important for the petitioner to understand that post-conviction challenges face many hurdles. In this regard, it may be appropriate for the firm to first review the case to determine whether an appeal or habeaswould be worth litigating. It is also always important to keep in mind the tight time limits on filing for post-conviction relief. Learn more about our experience on our Post-Conviction page.