THE COURT OF APPEALS OF VIRGINIA
PRESENT: Lemons, C.J., Goodwyn, Mims, McClanahan, Powell, and
McCullough, JJ., and Russell, S.J.
CHARLES S. RUSSELL, SENIOR JUSTICE
appeal requires us to revisit the interpretation of Code
§ 18.2-192 as it applies to credit card theft.
accordance with familiar principles of appellate review, the
facts will be stated in the light most favorable to the
Commonwealth, the prevailing party at trial. Baldwin v.
Commonwealth, 274 Va. 276, 278, 645 S.E.2d 433, 433
Childrey (the victim) testified that the defendant, Artavius
Scott, had been living with her prior to September 22, 2012
and was the father of her two young children. The parties had
separated and the defendant was living elsewhere by September
22, 2012. On that date, Scott and his mother visited the
victim's house to get some of his clothes and then left.
Later that evening, Scott returned alone, knocked on the door
and, through the closed door, identified himself, saying that
he wanted to see the children. The victim refused to let him
enter, telling him she would call the police if he did not
leave. Scott eventually left.
30 minutes later, the victim "heard something rattling
upstairs" and went upstairs to investigate. She found
Scott climbing in through her bedroom window. She ordered him
to leave and again threatened to call the police. Scott
produced a handgun, pointed it at her face and threatened to
shoot her if she called the police. Scott then left, taking
the victim's purse with him. She testified that she gave
him no permission to take the purse and that it contained
some cash, cigarettes, social security cards, and credit
following day, Scott called the victim and told her that the
purse was at her mother's house. When she recovered the
purse, only the cash and cigarettes were missing. The credit
cards were still in the purse but the victim had already
cancelled her credit card accounts and did not think they had
bench trial in the Circuit Court of the City of Richmond,
Scott was convicted of statutory burglary, possession of a
firearm by a felon, assault and battery of a family member,
pointing or brandishing a firearm, and
credit card theft in violation of Code § 18.2-192(1)(a).
He was sentenced to a total of nine years and 24 months
confinement for all offenses. Only the credit card conviction
is before this Court on this appeal, Scott not having
appealed his remaining convictions.
filed a petition for appeal with the Court of Appeals which
that Court denied by per curiam order. We awarded
Scott an appeal. There, as here, the sole question on appeal
was whether Code § 18.2-192 requires proof of the
specific intent to use, sell or transfer a credit card that
has been taken from a cardholder without consent.
question before us is purely one of statutory construction.
On appeal, we consider such questions de novo. Warrington
v. Commonwealth, 280 Va. 365, 370, 699 S.E.2d 233, 235
(2010). Code § 18.2-192, under which the defendant was
convicted, provides in relevant part that:
(1) A person is guilty of credit card or credit card number
theft when: (a) He takes, obtains or withholds a credit card
or credit card number from the person, possession, custody or
control of another without the cardholder's consent
or who, with knowledge that it has been so taken,
obtained or withheld, receives the credit card or credit card
number with intent to use it ...