an appeal from a judgment rendered by the Court of Appeals
No. 1040-15-1 of Virginia.
trial court convicted Marquez Rah-Shaun Perkins of robbery,
conspiracy to commit a felony, use of a firearm during the
commission of a robbery, malicious wounding, and use of a
firearm during the commission of a malicious
wounding. In the Court of Appeals, Perkins
unsuccessfully challenged his convictions for robbery,
conspiracy to commit a felony, and use of a firearm during
the commission of a robbery, but he successfully challenged
the sufficiency of the evidence for his convictions for
malicious wounding and use of a firearm during the commission
of a malicious wounding, which the Court of Appeals reversed.
Commonwealth appeals, arguing that the Court of Appeals erred
in reversing the two convictions related to malicious
wounding because a rational factfinder could infer from the
evidence that Perkins attacked the victim with the requisite
intent to maliciously wound him during the robbery. We agree
with the Commonwealth and reverse.
appeal, we review the evidence in the 'light most
favorable' to the Commonwealth, the prevailing party in
the trial court." Vasquez v. Commonwealth, 291
Va. 232, 236, 781 S.E.2d 920, 922 (citation omitted),
cert. denied, ___ U.S. ___, 137 S.Ct. 568 (2016).
"Viewing the record through this evidentiary prism
requires us to 'discard the evidence of the accused in
conflict with that of the Commonwealth, and regard as true
all the credible evidence favorable to the Commonwealth and
all fair inferences to be drawn therefrom.'"
Id. (quoting Bowman v. Commonwealth, 290
Va. 492, 494, 777 S.E.2d 851, 853 (2015)).
viewed, the evidence at trial showed that in the afternoon on
March 4, 2014, Otis White, Jr. went to visit Perkins's
mother at her apartment. White had known her for 35 years,
but he had only known Perkins for 3 to 4 months. At the time of
his visit, White had "a little over five thousand
dollars" in his pants pocket that he had received as
"back payment from social security disability" and
a "wallet with [his] ID, Social Security Card, "
and a debit card that he used to cash his monthly benefits.
J.A. at 8-9, 33. Perkins's mother, Perkins, Justin
Williams, and "another young lady" were at the home
when White arrived. Id. at 9-11. Perkins's
mother was cooking, and Perkins, Williams, and the young lady
were in a back room.
speaking briefly with Perkins's mother, White went to the
back room and talked to Perkins. They discussed Perkins's
dog, and Perkins asked White for $20 to buy a dog bowl. White
agreed, and he "tried to reach in [his] pocket just to
pull a twenty out because [he] didn't want everybody to
see how much money [he] had." Id. at 12. The
money in his pocket was "folded like a wallet" with
"hundreds on the outside and fifties and twenties on the
inside, " and when he "was pulling the twenty out,
some of it came over top of [his] pocket." Id.
at 12-13. Williams saw the money come out of White's
pocket and then left the room for "five to ten
minutes." Id. at 13. When Williams returned, he
called Perkins out of the room, and they both went to the
living room. About five minutes later, White left the back
room to talk to Perkins's mother again, and he saw
Perkins and Williams talking in the living room. When he
passed them, "they stopped talking until [he] got past
them" and then "started back talking again."
Id. at 13-14.
thereafter, Perkins's mother and White left to buy
something at the nearby convenience store. Before leaving,
White moved his money into his jacket pocket. "It was
getting dusk, " and there was still some light outside.
Id. at 16. At the edge of the apartment
complex's parking lot, White "felt somebody walking
behind [him], " and he turned around. Id. at
14. He saw Perkins "holding a pistol up in the air like
he was about to hit [White], " and White smiled at
Perkins who smiled back. Id. White did not think
Perkins would do anything to him because he was walking with
Perkins's mother. "Within five to ten seconds"
after White turned back around and started walking again,
Williams "hit [him] from the right on the side of [his]
face." Id. at 15. "At the same time"
that Williams hit White, White "got hit in the back of
the head" with what he believed to be the pistol that he
had just seen Perkins carrying. Id. White testified
that Perkins "was on the left side" with Williams
"on the right side" and that the hit to the back of
his head "came from the direction" of where Perkins
was standing. Id. White did not recall how many more
times he was hit because he lost consciousness. When White
woke up, it was dark outside, and he discovered that his
money and wallet were gone. Perkins's mother, Perkins,
and Williams also were gone. White was in pain. His eye had
swollen shut, his ear was bleeding, and his lips were
swollen. He walked to the convenience store and asked the
cashier to call an ambulance.
ambulance came and took White to the hospital, and a report
from the emergency room documented his injuries. White's
"right eye [was] swollen shut" with "slightly
blurry" vision and a "small laceration on [the] eye
lid, " his "upper and bottom lip[s] [were]
swollen" with "bleeding controlled, " and he
had a "small laceration by [his] right ear lobe"
with bleeding controlled. Def.'s Ex. 1, at 3 (Jan. 29,
2015). White reported being "ass[a]ulted with [a]
fist" and "hit in the occipital portion of his head
with an unknown object." Id. at 2-3. He
complained of "facial pain, eye pain, [a] tooth feeling
loose and not fitting together normally for him, " and
"pain on [the] right side of [his] head."
Commonwealth entered into evidence several pictures posted on
a public Facebook profile the day after the robbery. The
pictures portrayed Williams and Perkins posing with a spread
of money in similar denominations to those stolen from White
during the robbery and Perkins posing individually with
money. In one of the photos, White identified Perkins as the
man "that hit me with the gun and robbed me" and
Williams as "the other guy that hit me and help[ed]
Mooney rob me." Commonwealth's Ex. 1a (altering
capitalization). Williams, Perkins's 15-year-old
co-conspirator, also confirmed in a statement to police that
he and Perkins were portrayed in the pictures and that the
money came from the robbery of White. Williams also confirmed
that he had seen Perkins with a firearm, but he did not
specify exactly when he had seen Perkins with a firearm.
a bench trial, the trial court stated that it found
White's testimony "extremely compelling and
credible, " J.A. at 52, and that it found the evidence
sufficient to convict Perkins of malicious wounding based on
White's testimony and the medical records submitted. The
trial court also found the evidence sufficient to convict
Perkins of robbery, conspiracy to commit a felony, use of a
firearm during the commission of a robbery, and use of a
firearm during the commission of a malicious wounding. The
trial court sentenced Perkins to a total of 48 years of
incarceration with 31 years suspended.
appealed to the Court of Appeals, which initially denied his
petition in a one-judge, per curiam order, but a three-judge
panel later granted his appeal. In an unpublished opinion,
the Court of Appeals affirmed Perkins's convictions for
robbery, conspiracy to commit a felony, and use of a firearm
during the commission of a robbery but reversed his
convictions for malicious wounding and use of a firearm
during the commission of a malicious wounding. The Court of
Appeals found that the trial court could not "infer an
intent to cause permanent disability" and could not find
"an inference of malice on the part of [Perkins] . . .
from the extent of White's injuries" because
Williams also struck White "when he was rendered
unconscious." Perkins v. Commonwealth, Record
No. 1040-15-1, 2017 Va.App. LEXIS 10, at *14 (Jan. 17, 2017).
The Commonwealth appealed this decision, and we granted the
appeal limited to the question of the sufficiency of the
evidence for Perkins's convictions of malicious wounding
and use of a firearm during the commission of a malicious
Commonwealth challenges the decision of the Court of Appeals
on the ground that "the Court of Appeals wrongly
disregarded the trier of fact's factual finding that the
defendant had acted with the requisite intent in striking the
victim and rendering him unconscious during ...