Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Cocke v. Commonwealth

Court of Appeals of Virginia

July 11, 2017

BRYAN DUNNINGTON COCKE
v.
COMMONWEALTH OF VIRGINIA

         FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF CAMPBELL COUNTY John T. Cook, Judge

          Mark 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 teleconference.

          OPINION

          WILLIAM G. PETTY JUDGE

         Bryan 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.

         Background

         "In 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)).

         On 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.

         An 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.

         The 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 this Court.

         Analysis

         When 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 ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.