THE CIRCUIT COURT OF CAMPBELL COUNTY John T. Cook, Judge
B. Dunevant (Philip B. Baker; Sanzone & Baker, L.L.P., on
brief), for appellant.
Elizabeth Kiernan Fitzgerald, Assistant Attorney General
(Mark R. Herring, Attorney General, on brief), for appellee.
Present: Judges Petty, Alston and Russell Argued by
WILLIAM G. PETTY JUDGE
Dunnington Cocke was convicted of leaving the scene of an
accident in violation of Code § 46.2-894(i). Cocke
argues on appeal that the Commonwealth failed to prove that
"the accident resulted in more than $1, 000 damage to
property" as required by the statute for a felony
conviction. We disagree and affirm the trial court.
accordance with familiar principles of appellate review, we
'state the evidence presented at trial in the light most
favorable to the Commonwealth, the prevailing party
below.'" Pearson v. Commonwealth, 43
Va.App. 317, 319, 597 S.E.2d 269, 270 (2004) (quoting
Johnson v. Commonwealth, 259 Va. 654, 662, 529
S.E.2d 769, 773 (2000)).
April 2, 2015, Cocke rear-ended a Prius that was stopped at a
red light. The driver of the Prius pulled over to the side of
the road. Cocke approached the Prius and asked the driver if
she was all right. Cocke also asked the driver not to call
the police and offered to pay for the damage. The driver
informed him that she planned to call the police, and Cocke
returned to his car. Cocke sat in his car for a minute and
then drove away. Cocke did not provide his name, address,
driver's license number, or vehicle registration number
to the driver of the Prius.
insurance adjuster initially appraised the damage to the
Prius at $792. This appraisal was made based on an inspection
of the exterior of the car. An appraiser for a local auto
body shop did a more thorough assessment of the damages when
the Prius was brought in for repairs. The body shop appraiser
determined an additional $692.15 of damage had been done. The
expert testimony of both the insurance adjuster and the
appraiser was admitted without objection. The final bill
totaled $1, 484.88.
total amount of the bill covered both parts and labor. Cocke
argues that the trial court should only consider the cost of
parts in determining whether the damage exceeded the
statutory amount of $1, 000. The damage to the Prius,
considering only the cost of parts, was $689.12. The trial
court rejected this method of measuring damages because it
did not include the cost of labor. Cocke renewed the argument
in his motion to strike, but the court denied the motion. The
trial court convicted Cocke and sentenced him to two years
suspended with thirty days to serve. Cocke timely appealed to
reviewing the sufficiency of the evidence, "[t]he
judgment of the trial court is presumed to be correct and
will be reversed only upon a showing that it is 'plainly
wrong or without evidence to support it.'" Ervin
v. Commonwealth, 57 Va.App. 495, 503, 704 S.E.2d 135,
139 (2011) (alteration in original) (quoting Viney v.
Commonwealth, 269 Va. 296, 299, 609 S.E.2d 26, 28
(2005)). We do not determine whether we would have convicted
the defendant, but whether "any rational trier
of fact could have found the essential elements of the crime
beyond a reasonable doubt." Crowder v.
Commonwealth, 41 Va.App. 658, 663, 588 S.E.2d 384, 387
(2003) (quoting Kelly v. Commonwealth, 41 Va.App.
250, 257, 584 S.E.2d 444, 447 (2003) (en banc)). To
the extent that we interpret the statute, "[t]he
construction of a statute is a question of law that we ...