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Ramsey v. Commonwealth

Court of Appeals of Virginia

May 13, 2014


Page 577

[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

Page 578



Andrew T. Elders (Elders, Zinicola & Blanch, PLLC, on brief), for appellant.

Katherine Quinlan Adelfio, Assistant Attorney General (Kenneth T. Cuccinelli, II, Attorney General, on brief), for appellee.

Present: Judges Alston, McCullough and Senior Judge Annunziata.


Page 579


Jonathan Nathaniel Ramsey appeals his convictions for burglary, abduction with the intent to defile, malicious wounding, and sexual penetration with an inanimate object. Ramsey argues that the trial court erred (1) in denying his motion in limine to exclude the expert opinions of Kathryn Colombo and Dr. Mark Perlin as being based upon hearsay not in evidence; (2) by excluding as irrelevant evidence of third-party guilt of E.V.[1]; (3) by quashing his subpoena duces tecum and forcing the return of certain documents related to E.V.; and (4) by denying his motion to declare E.V. an adverse witness prior to and during direct examination by defense counsel. We disagree with Ramsey and affirm his convictions.


" On appeal, 'we review the evidence in the light most favorable to the Commonwealth, granting to it all reasonable inferences fairly deducible therefrom.'" Archer v. Commonwealth, 26 Va.App. 1, 11, 492 S.E.2d 826, 831 (1997) (quoting Martin v. Commonwealth, 4 Va.App. 438, 443, 358 S.E.2d 415, 418, 4 Va. Law Rep. 127 (1987)). So viewed, the evidence proved at approximately midnight on August 27, 2011, A.B. was in her kitchen and [63 Va.App. 347] noticed nothing out of the ordinary. At approximately 4:00 a.m., A.B. woke up because she heard her five-year-old daughter, V.R., calling, " Mommy, Mommy, Mommy," from downstairs. A.B. went downstairs and found V.R. naked from the waist down with multiple cuts on her body, leaves in her hair, and her shirt covered in blood. When A.B. put V.R. to bed earlier that evening, V.R. was not covered in blood and she was dressed in a clean shirt, underwear, and leggings.

The window in A.B.'s kitchen had been forced open, and muddy footprints were found on a bench below the window. The footprints matched the shoes taken from Ramsey after his arrest. The authorities determined that palm and fingerprints on the open window were left by Ramsey. Ramsey admitted he broke into A.B.'s home in order to steal items and asserted that E.V. was with him, but A.B.'s purse and several electronic devices in the kitchen and living area were not stolen.

The authorities found V.R.'s underwear and leggings in a wooded area near her residence, lying on top of a Farberware kitchen knife. The items were found in a wooded area that was less than a 60-second walk from V.R's front door and a 40-second walk from Ramsey's front door. The authorities submitted V.R.'s shirt, the underwear, the leggings, and the knife for analysis. During the execution of a search warrant for Ramsey's residence, the authorities found a blood-stained T-shirt in a trash bag and a pair of men's underwear with blood stains in a separate trash bag, together with other trash Ramsey admitted came from his kitchen. One of the bags was found on the back deck of Ramsey's residence; the other bag was found inside a trash can beside the deck. The size and type of the men's underwear were the same as those Ramsey was wearing when he was arrested. The authorities also found a Farberware knife in the sink. The knife had the same handle design as the knife found with V.R.'s clothing.

The blade and handle of the knife tested positive for blood, and V.R. could not be eliminated as a contributor of the DNA profile developed from the blood stains. V.R. could not be eliminated as a contributor of a DNA profile developed from [63 Va.App. 348] the blood stains found on the front left leg of the men's underwear. Neither V.R. nor Ramsey could be eliminated as a contributor of a mixture profile from the interior waistband of the men's underwear. V.R. could not be eliminated

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as a contributor of a blood stain found on the T-shirt seized from Ramsey's trash bag at his residence. Ramsey could not be eliminated from a mixture profile from the interior neck of the T-shirt.

At some point after his arrest, Ramsey learned that his friend, E.V., had been convicted of misdemeanor sexual battery of a seven year old. The offense occurred in February 2010 when E.V. was thirteen years old. Ramsey obtained the details of E.V.'s conviction from the Commonwealth through the discovery process. Prior to trial, Ramsey used a subpoena duces tecum to obtain E.V.'s probation file from the Fairfax County Probation and Parole office. The Commonwealth moved the court pretrial to declare the subpoena duces tecum invalid and order Ramsey to return the documents. The ...

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