Adkins to serve 8 years on manslaughter after reversal of murder conviction and 43 year prison sentence

scales of justice statue

On September 30, 2019, the matter of Adkins v. Commonwealth resolved as manslaughter in the Alexandria Circuit Court after the Virginia Supreme Court reversed his murder conviction and 43-year prison sentence.  Mr. Adkins will serve 8 years for manslaughter and an associated gun charge.  The reversal of Mr. Adkins’ murder conviction resulted from the Virginia Supreme Court’s finding that law enforcement violated his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. 

On September 30, 2019, the matter of Adkins v. Commonwealth resolved as manslaughter in the Alexandria Circuit Court after the Virginia Supreme Court reversed his murder conviction and 43-year prison sentence.  Mr. Adkins will serve 8 years for manslaughter and an associated gun charge.  The reversal of Mr. Adkins’ murder conviction resulted from the Virginia Supreme Court’s finding that law enforcement violated his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent. 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, which resulted in law enforcement obtaining statements used by the prosecution at trial to undermine Mr. Adkins’ self-defense claim.  The Virginia Supreme Court’s opinion is available here.

Opinion on Reversal of Murder Conviction for Adkins Case

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, which resulted in law enforcement obtaining statements used by the prosecution at trial to undermine Mr. Adkins’ self-defense claim.  The Virginia Supreme Court’s opinion is available here (link to opinion – https://www.kingcampbell.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/03/180485-1.pdf).  Joseph King and Lauren LeBourgeois represented Mr. Adkins on appeal in the Virginia Supreme Court.  Chris Leibig and Andrea Moseley represented Mr. Adkins on remand in the Alexandria Circuit Court.

See Rachel Weiner, Alexandria Murder Conviction Changed to Manslaughter, Washington Post, October 1, 2019.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/public-safety/alexandria-murder-conviction-changed-to-manslaughter/2019/10/01/db140dba-e45a-11e9-b403-f738899982d2_story.html

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