THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE CITY OF VIRGINIA BEACH Leslie L.
Farashahi (Afshin Farashahi, P.C., on brief), for appellant.
L. Yates, Assistant Attorney General (Mark R. Herring,
Attorney General, on brief), for appellee.
Present: Judges Petty, Chafin and Senior Judge Frank Argued
at Norfolk, Virginia
M. CHAFIN JUDGE
Gordon Anderson was convicted of voluntary manslaughter at
the conclusion of a jury trial held in the Circuit Court of
the City of Virginia Beach. On appeal, Anderson contends that
the circuit court erred by refusing to admit part of the
victim's prior criminal record into evidence. Anderson
maintains that the excluded portion of the victim's
criminal record was admissible to support his claim of
self-defense. For the following reasons, we affirm
accordance with established principles of appellate review,
we state the facts in the light most favorable to the
Commonwealth, the prevailing party in the trial court[, and]
accord the Commonwealth the benefit of all inferences fairly
deducible from the evidence." Riner v.
Commonwealth, 268 Va. 296, 303, 601 S.E.2d 555, 558
(2004). So viewed, the pertinent evidence is as follows.
and the victim were next-door neighbors. Shortly after
Anderson moved to the neighborhood, he began having an affair
with the victim's wife. On the evening of September 3,
2016, Anderson and the victim got into a fight outside of
their homes. Anderson stabbed the victim three times during
the altercation, inflicting a fatal wound to the victim's
chest and lung.
was charged with second-degree murder of the victim. Anderson
maintained that he stabbed the victim in self-defense after
the victim attacked him, grabbed his throat, and began
choking him. Before his trial, Anderson requested the circuit
court to permit the introduction of ten of the victim's
prior criminal charges and convictions into evidence. These
charges and convictions included:
(1) a 1996 dismissed charge of "Assault Against
(2) a 1996 conviction of "Brandishing a Firearm;"
(3) a 1997 dismissed charge of "Assault;"
(4) a 1998 conviction of "Carrying Concealed