THE CIRCUIT COURT OF SCOTT COUNTY Jeffrey S. Hamilton, Judge.
Stephen L. Forster, Assistant Attorney General (Mark R.
Herring, Attorney General, on brief), for appellant.
E. Phillips (Phillips & Thomas Law, PLLC, on brief), for
Present: Judges Petty, Beales and O'Brien Argued at
WILLIAM G. PETTY JUDGE.
to Code § 19.2-398(C),  the Commonwealth appeals the
sentence the trial court imposed upon Shawn Lynn Botkin after
he pled guilty to two counts of possession of a firearm by a
convicted nonviolent felon, in violation of Code §
18.2-308.2(A). The Commonwealth contends that the trial court
erred in running the sentences for Botkin's two
convictions concurrently when by statute the trial court was
mandated to run the sentences consecutively. We agree with
the Commonwealth. We reverse the trial court insofar as it
imposed a concurrent sentence, vacate that portion of the
sentence, and remand for sentencing consistent with this
pled guilty to two counts of possession of a firearm by a
nonviolent felon, in violation of Code § 18.2-308.2(A).
Code § 18.2-308.2(A) requires,
Any person who violates this section shall be guilty of a
Class 6 felony. However, any person who violates this section
by knowingly and intentionally possessing or transporting any
firearm and who was previously convicted of a violent felony
as defined in § 17.1-805 shall be sentenced to a
mandatory minimum term of imprisonment of five years. Any
person who violates this section by knowingly and
intentionally possessing or transporting any firearm and who
was previously convicted of any other felony within the prior
10 years shall be sentenced to a mandatory minimum term of
imprisonment of two years. The mandatory minimum terms of
imprisonment prescribed for violations of this section
shall be served consecutively with any other
trial court sentenced Botkin to five years for each
conviction and suspended three years of each sentence. Botkin
was thereby left with two active sentences of two years each
in accordance with the mandatory minimums required by Code
§ 18.2-308.2(A). Botkin requested that the two sentences
run concurrently, suggesting that the language of the statute
would allow for that disposition. The Commonwealth argued
that the language of the statute requires the two mandatory
minimum sentences to run consecutively. The trial court
ordered the two sentences to run "concurrent to each
other"; the Commonwealth appealed.
issue before this Court is a question of statutory
interpretation, which we review de novo. Brown
v. Commonwealth, 284 Va. 538, 542, 733 S.E.2d 638, 640
primary rule of statutory construction is quite clear.
"When a statute is unambiguous, we must apply the plain
meaning of that language." Altizer v.
Commonwealth, 63 Va.App. 317, 323, 757 S.E.2d 565, 568
(2014) (quoting Brown v. Lukhard, 229 Va. 316, 321,
330 S.E.2d 84, 87 (1985)). "If . . . the intention of
the legislature is perfectly clear from the language used,
rules of construction are not to be applied. We are not
allowed to construe that which has no need of
construction." Temple v. City of Petersburg,
182 Va. 418, 422-23, 29 S.E.2d 357, 358 (1944). "In such
circumstances, a court may look only to the words of the
statute to determine its meaning. The intention of the
legislature must be determined from those words, unless a
literal construction would result in a manifest
absurdity." Hubbard v. Henrico Ltd. P'ship,
255 Va. 335, 339, 497 S.E.2d 335, 337 (1998). "[W]e will
not apply 'an unreasonably restrictive interpretation of
the statute' that would subvert the legislative intent
expressed therein." Armstrong v. Commonwealth,
263 Va. 573, 581, 562 S.E.2d 139, 144 (2002) (quoting
Ansell v. Commonwealth, 219 Va. 759, 761, 250 S.E.2d
760, 761 (1979)). Furthermore, "when one statute speaks
to a subject in a general way and another deals with a part
of the same ...