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Boone v. Commonwealth

Court of Appeals of Virginia

May 20, 2014

GEORGE E. BOONE, A/K/A GEORGE EDWARD BOONE, JR.
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

Page 73

FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF CHESTERFIELD COUNTY. Frederick G. Rockwell, III, Judge.

Horace F. Hunter (Hunter & Lipton, PC, on brief), for appellant.

Katherine Quinlan Adelfio, Assistant Attorney General (Mark R. Herring, Attorney General; Aaron J. Campbell, Assistant Attorney General, on brief), for appellee.

Present: Judges Humphreys, Kelsey and Petty. OPINION BY JUDGE ROBERT J. HUMPHREYS.

OPINION

Page 74

[63 Va.App. 386] ROBERT J. HUMPHREYS, JUDGE.

George E. Boone (" Boone" ) appeals his conviction of operating a motor vehicle after having been declared a habitual offender, second or subsequent offense, in violation of Code § 46.2-357, after a bench trial in the Circuit Court of Chesterfield County (" trial court" ). Boone argues that the trial court erred in admitting his Department of Motor Vehicles (" DMV" ) transcript into evidence because it violates his Sixth Amendment Confrontation Clause rights and that the evidence is insufficient to support his conviction.

I. BACKGROUND

This Court reviews the evidence in the light most favorable to the prevailing party in the trial court--in this case, the Commonwealth. Commonwealth v. Hudson, 265 Va. 505, 514, 578 S.E.2d 781, 786 (2003). So viewed, the evidence established the following.

On January 31, 2012, around 6:00 p.m., Virginia State Trooper D.A. Robinson and other troopers were participating in a " checking detail" in Chesterfield on Interstate 95 (" I-95" ). The checking detail was set up so that vehicles turning off of Route 10 onto I-95 would have to pass through the checkpoint about fifty meters from the turn onto I-95. As Robinson was watching traffic, he noticed that a vehicle that had been waiting in line pulled off onto the shoulder of the roadway just before the checking point. Robinson walked up to the vehicle from the checking point. Robinson approached the driver's side and had a conversation with Boone. Boone said he was having engine problems and he had to pull off the roadway. [63 Va.App. 387] Robinson asked Boone for his driver's license, and Boone stated that his license was in his wallet which he had left at home. Robinson " asked Mr. Boone to stop lying . . . and to stop playing games." Then Boone " admitted that he was suspended." Boone provided his social security number to Robinson, which enabled Robinson to look at Boone's DMV driving transcript and see that Boone was a habitual offender.

The grand jury indictment charged that Boone feloniously operated a motor vehicle on the highways of Virginia after having been found to be a habitual offender, second or subsequent offense, in violation of Code § 46.2-357. Robinson was the only witness at Boone's trial. The Commonwealth introduced Boone's DMV transcript, to which Boone's counsel objected. The trial court overruled Boone's objection.

Boone's DMV transcript dated February 2, 2012, highlighted with asterisks at the top, " ATTENTION: PREVIOUS DRIVE AFTER H.O." and " NOTICE OF SUSPENSION/ REVOCATION RECEIVED." A few lines down, the transcript read, " DRIVER LICENSE STATUS: REVOKED HABITUAL OFFENDE[R]." Boone's transcript indicated that he was adjudicated a habitual offender in the Richmond General District Court on October 29, 1998, and in the Henrico County General District Court on November 18, 1998. Since those dates, the transcript shows that Boone has been convicted six times for operating a motor vehicle after having been declared a habitual offender in violation of Code § 46.2-357.

In addition to the DMV transcript, the Commonwealth's attorney entered into evidence Commonwealth's Exhibit 2, multiple certified conviction orders convicting Boone of driving after having been declared a habitual offender. As indicated by the DMV transcript, the most recent conviction order in the record was dated July 20, 2011, convicting Boone of misdemeanor driving while a habitual offender in Henrico County Circuit Court. The date of that offense was March 24, 2011. Exhibit 2 also includes six other orders from various Virginia circuit courts convicting Boone of driving after having been declared a habitual offender, with ...


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