THE CIRCUIT COURT OF TAZEWELL COUNTY Richard C. Patterson,
Carletta J. Faletti (Faletti & Gonzalez, PLLC, on
briefs), for appellant.
Virginia B. Theisen, Senior Assistant Attorney General (Mark
R. Herring, Attorney General; Elizabeth Kiernan Fitzgerald,
Assistant Attorney General, on brief), for appellee.
Present: Judges Petty, O'Brien and Russell Argued at
GRACE O'BRIEN, JUDGE
McKinley Blankenship ("appellant") was convicted by
a jury of the following offenses: attempted rape, in
violation of Code §§ 18.2-61 and -26; indecent
liberties, in violation of Code § 18.2-370(A)(1);
abduction with the intent to defile, in violation of Code
§ 18.2-48; assault and battery, in violation of Code
§ 18.2-57; and contributing to the delinquency of a
minor, in violation of Code § 18.2-371. The court
imposed the jury's sentence of thirty-two years of
incarceration and a $5, 000 fine that was suspended in its
entirety. Appellant asserts the following assignment of
The trial court committed an abuse of discretion by allowing
evidence of the appellant's prior conviction to be
admitted into evidence in the Commonwealth's case in
chief, over the objections of [a]ppellant's counsel,
without having received a proffer as to the facts of the
prior conviction and without any knowledge of the
similarities or differences of the prior conviction in
comparison to the case on appeal, therefore the [c]ourt
failed to apply the requisite balancing test to determine if
the probative value of the evidence outweighed the
prejudicial effect; said evidence having been offered for the
sole purpose of inflaming the jury in such a manner as to
cause a miscarriage of justice.
that the court did not abuse its discretion in admitting the
evidence and affirm appellant's convictions.
9, 2012, appellant asked B.S., his neighbor's
fourteen-year-old daughter, to accompany him to the bank so
he could withdraw money to pay her younger siblings for
cleaning his house. Appellant was forty-eight years old.
stopped at a convenience store on the way to the bank and
purchased a six-pack of beer, cigarettes, and an energy
drink. He gave the cigarettes and energy drink to B.S. and
opened a can of beer for himself. After leaving the bank, he
told B.S. to drive the car, although she did not have a
driver's license or a learner's permit.
appellant's direction, B.S. drove to Walmart. Once inside
the store, appellant repeatedly grabbed B.S.'s hand and
wrist, despite her attempts to pull away. After B.S. began
looking at a pair of sunglasses, appellant removed the price
tag, put them on his head, and left the store without paying
for the glasses. B.S. testified that she was afraid, but did
not seek help from anyone in the store because she thought
appellant might have a weapon.
than returning home, appellant told B.S. to drive to an
isolated area because he wanted to show her a "piece of
chimney" from an old building. B.S. did not want to
follow appellant's directions but complied because she
was still afraid. Appellant eventually had B.S. stop the car,
and he led her down a gravel road on foot while he drank two
more beers. When they arrived at the chimney, appellant
undressed and took B.S.'s shirt off. She struggled, and
appellant held her around the neck as he unsuccessfully
attempted to remove more of her clothing. B.S. was upset and
crying. Appellant stopped at that point and put his clothes
back on. B.S. also put her shirt on. They walked back to the
car, and appellant instructed B.S. to drive. B.S. drove home,
got out of the car, and reported the incident to her mother.
A grand jury subsequently indicted appellant of the criminal
offenses, and trial was ultimately set for July 21, 2015.
11, 2015, pursuant to Code § 18.2-67.7:1, the
Commonwealth filed a notice of its intention to introduce
appellant's prior conviction from North Carolina at
trial. The conviction order reflected that on January 14,
1999, appellant pled guilty to a charge of indecent liberties
with a child. The Commonwealth also filed a copy of ...