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Parham v. Commonwealth

Court of Appeals of Virginia

April 7, 2015

BRUCE EDISON PARHAM
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE CITY OF HAMPTON. Bonnie L. Jones, Judge.

Kimberly E. Karle, Assistant Public Defender (Office of the Public Defender, on briefs), for appellant.

Craig W. Stallard, Assistant Attorney General (Mark R. Herring, Attorney General, on brief), for appellee.

Present: Judges Humphreys, Beales and Decker. OPINION BY JUDGE MARLA GRAFF DECKER.

OPINION

Page 205

[64 Va.App. 562] MARLA GRAFF DECKER, JUDGE

Bruce Edison Parham appeals his conviction for making a materially false statement on a form completed in conjunction with a firearm transaction, in violation of Code § 18.2-308.2:2(K). He argues that the evidence was insufficient to support his conviction because the Commonwealth failed to prove that he was aware that he was under indictment at the time that he completed the form.[1] We hold that the evidence was sufficient

Page 206

to support the conviction. Consequently, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

I. BACKGROUND[2]

At the appellant's trial for making a materially false statement on a federal form in connection with a purchase of a firearm, the Commonwealth presented undisputed evidence that the appellant falsely represented on a federal firearms transaction form that he was not " under indictment or information in any court for a felony, or any other crime, for which the judge could imprison [him] for more than one year." The only issue that the appellant contested at trial was whether he understood that he was under indictment at the time that he completed the form and attested to its accuracy.

Jeremy Allen Reynolds testified that on July 7, 2013, he worked as a retail clerk for Bass Pro Shops selling firearms. As part of his employment duties, Reynolds was responsible [64 Va.App. 563] for administering federal and state firearm transaction forms. The appellant was a customer. Reynolds stated that he gave the appellant the firearm transaction forms and the appellant completed them. He also explained that the store personnel never filled out the forms for the purchasers.

Over seven weeks before the appellant attempted to buy the firearm, he was indicted for a felony. Twelve days before the attempted purchase, he appeared in circuit court, and his case was continued.

Brenda Stokes, a Virginia State Trooper, testified that she investigated the appellant's offense related to his application to buy a firearm. When she interviewed the appellant, he told her that the store clerk completed the application for him. The appellant admitted ...


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