appeals from judgments rendered by the Circuit Court, Nos.
CR14-F-4269, CR14-F-4270, CR14-F-3991 of the City of
consideration of the records, briefs, and argument of
counsel, the Court is of opinion that the ends of justice
exception under Rule 5:25 does not apply and the alleged
errors were not preserved for review in either appeal. We
therefore affirm the judgments of the circuit court.
September 2, 2014, a grand jury of the City of Richmond
indicted Larry Lee Williams (Williams) for the July 8, 2014
felony assault and battery, third or subsequent offense, of
his wife, Tameka Bond (Bond), in violation of Code §
18.2-57.2(B) (July Offense). On September 10, of that same
year, a grand jury indicted Williams for another violation of
Code § 18.2-57.2(B), as well as attempted murder under
Code §§ 18.2-26 and 18.2-32, for his actions
against Bond on August 24, 2014 (August Offenses).
licensed clinical psychologist determined that Williams was
competent to stand trial on all charges, the circuit court
held a plea hearing on May 18, 2015. At that hearing, the
Commonwealth informed the court that, based on recorded jail
phone calls in which Williams stated he had a
"blackout" and could not recall the events of
August 24, 2014, and his "agreement that he is accepting
responsibility for the incident on July 8th, we did come to
an agreement for him to be found not guilty by reason of
insanity on the August 24th offenses." The Commonwealth
stated there was no written plea agreement, and Williams'
attorney confirmed the plea deal.
the May 18 hearing, Williams agreed that he understood
"what the ranges of penalties are on the charges"
to which he was pleading guilty and not guilty by reason of
insanity. The Commonwealth then summarized the evidence for
all of the offenses, and admitted into evidence certified
copies of Williams' three prior convictions for assault
on a family member, and a photograph of the injury Bond
sustained during the July Offense.
circuit court found that the Commonwealth provided a
"sufficient factual basis" to accept Williams'
guilty plea on the July Offense, and found him guilty of
felony assault and battery of a family member, third or
subsequent offense. As to the August Offenses, the court
accepted Williams' plea of not guilty by reason of
insanity, and ordered him placed into the temporary custody
of the Commissioner of the Department of Behavioral Health
and Developmental Services for evaluation pursuant to Code
§ 19.2-182.2 "as to whether [he] may be released
with or without conditions or requires commitment."
circuit court held a sentencing hearing on November 17, 2015.
At that hearing, Bond testified about Williams' abusive
behavior. The Commonwealth asked for five years'
incarceration for the July Offense followed by involuntary
civil commitment for the August Offenses, arguing that such a
sentence reflected the fact that the court was imposing two
sentences for two different types of pleas.
argued that the reports of both a clinical neuropsychologist
and a psychiatrist, prepared after evaluations required
because of his not guilty by reason of insanity pleas,
"recommend inpatient treatment because [Williams] is
mentally ill." Williams requested that the circuit court
allow him to serve his involuntary civil commitment on the
August Offenses immediately so that he could receive the
recommended treatment, rather than the court sentencing him
to serve any time in prison on the July Offense.
circuit court agreed with the sequence recommended by the
Commonwealth. It sentenced Williams to five years'
incarceration for the July Offense, and on the August
Offenses ordered that he be involuntarily "committed [as
an] inpatient . . . after release from incarceration."
Williams did not object. On November 19, 2015, the court
entered orders confirming the sentence and involuntary civil
Williams appealed his criminal case (July Offense) to the
Court of Appeals of Virginia, and appealed his involuntary
civil commitment (August Offenses) to this Court, both on the
grounds that the circuit court erred by sentencing him to
serve the prison term before beginning his involuntary civil
commitment. On November 22, 2016, this Court certified the
appeal from the Court of Appeals pursuant to Code
§§ 17.1-409(A) and (B)(1) and (2), and paired that
case (Record No. 161639) with Williams' direct appeal to
this Court regarding the August Offenses (Record No. 160257).
assignment of error in both cases states:
The ends of justice require this Court to correct a manifest
injustice and find that the trial judge erred as a matter of
law [by abusing his discretion and] by violating
Williams' due process rights when he removed Williams, a
mentally ill patient, from Central State Hospital, without
conditions or a discharge plan, to serve his five-year prison
sentence with prisoners convicted of crimes and then to serve
a civil commitment thereafter instead of remanding him
immediately to the hospital and giving him credit toward his
prison sentence while being treated in the
concedes that his objections concerning the sequencing of his
prison sentence and civil commitment were not made below and
are therefore not preserved for review. Accordingly, this
Court cannot consider those arguments "as a basis for
reversal . . . except for good cause shown or to enable this
Court to attain the ends of justice." Rule 5:25.
Court considers two questions when deciding whether to apply
the ends of justice exception: (1) whether there is error as
contended by the appellant; and (2) whether the failure to
apply the ends of justice provision would result in a grave
injustice." Commonwealth v. Bass,292 Va. 19,
27, 786 S.E.2d 165, 169 (2016) (internal quotation marks and
citation omitted). The ends of justice exception is applied
"in very limited circumstances including, for example,
where the record established that an element of the crime did
not occur, a conviction based on a void sentence, conviction
of a non-offense, and a capital murder conviction where ...