THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE CITY OF DANVILLE. James J. Reynolds,
Smallwood, II (Office of the Public Defender, on brief), for
B. Martin, Senior Assistant Attorney General (Mark R.
Herring, Attorney General, on brief), for appellee.
Judges Petty, O'Brien and AtLee.
Va.App. 395] MARY GRACE O'BRIEN, J.
Keith Epps (" appellant" ) was indicted for one
count of abduction, in violation of Code § 18.2-47, and
one count of assault and battery, in violation of Code §
18.2-57. Appellant [66 Va.App. 396] pled guilty to assault
and battery and was found guilty of abduction following a
bench trial. The court sentenced appellant to five years of
incarceration in the state penitentiary with two years
suspended for abduction and twelve months in jail with six
months suspended for assault and battery. Appellant filed a
post-trial motion to dismiss his convictions on the ground
that the court lacked jurisdiction because the order
recording the indictments against him had not been entered at
the time of trial. The court denied his motion, and this
grand jury met on October 27, 2014, and returned indictments
in open court against appellant for abduction and assault and
battery. The indictments were signed by the grand jury
foreman. Following a bench trial for abduction, the court
found appellant guilty and also accepted his plea of guilty
to assault and battery on November 17, 2014. His sentencing
hearing occurred on January 5, 2015.
January 7, 2015, appellant's counsel moved to dismiss the
convictions because the order reflecting the actions of the
grand jury on October 27, 2014, had not been entered prior to
trial. On January 13, 2015, the court entered
the order memorializing the grand jury's actions ("
the presentment order" ). Following a hearing on January
22, 2015, the court denied appellant's motion to dismiss
his convictions. The court signed the sentencing order on
January 23, 2015.
Assignments of Error
asserts the following errors:
I. The trial court erred in conducting a trial of Mr. Epps
when it lacked the jurisdiction to do so because no order
recording the presentation of the indictment in open court
had been entered.
[66 Va.App. 397] II. The trial court erred in concluding that
the facts were sufficient to convict Mr. Epps of abduction
where Mr. Epps entered a guilty plea to assault and battery,
all of the conduct that arguably would support a conviction
for abduction was also conduct that was assaultive, and
therefore there was no offense of abduction pursuant to the
statutory and case law of the offense.
consider the facts, as we are bound to do, in the light most
favorable to the prevailing party, the Commonwealth.
Bolden v. Commonwealth, 275 Va. 144, 148, 654 S.E.2d
584, 586 (2008). So viewed, the evidence established the
following: late in the evening of August 29, 2014, appellant
and Latisha Williams were ...