THE CIRCUIT COURT OF THE CITY OF VIRGINIA BEACH Steven C.
Frucci, Judge 
Annette Miller, Senior Trial Attorney (Office of the Public
Defender, on brief), for appellant.
Williams, Assistant Attorney General (Mark R. Herring,
Attorney General; Kelsey M. Bulger, Assistant Attorney
General, on brief), for appellee.
Present: Judges Humphreys, Malveaux and Senior Judge Frank
Argued at Hampton, Virginia
J. HUMPHREYS, JUDGE.
February 6, 2017, appellant Shannon Shamar Cousett
("Cousett") was indicted in the Circuit Court of
the City of Virginia Beach ("circuit court") on the
following charges: one count of rape of T.H., in violation of
Code § 18.2-61; one count of abduction of I.P., in
violation of Code § 18.2-47; burglary with the intent to
commit larceny/assault/battery, in violation of Code §
18.2-91; and burglary with the intent to commit
rape/robbery/murder, in violation of Code § 18.2-90.
Cousett was also charged with assault and battery, in
violation of Code § 18.2-57. The Commonwealth alleged
that Cousett committed all offenses on or about August 6,
2016. Before trial, Cousett moved to sever the charges,
arguing that the charges involving T.H. should be severed
from those charges involving I.P. The circuit court, however,
denied Cousett's motion.
bench trial on December 5, 2017, the circuit court found
Cousett guilty of all charges. The circuit court later
sentenced Cousett to a total of fifty years and 365 days of
incarceration, with ten years suspended. On appeal, Cousett
argues that the circuit court "erred in not severing the
[I.P.] and [T.H.] offenses inasmuch as the Commonwealth did
not prove, under Rule 3A:10(c) of the Rules of the Supreme
Court of Virginia, that (1) justice did not require separate
trials; and (2) that the offenses met one of the criteria as
set out in Rule 3A:6."
August 6, 2016, at approximately 9:30 p.m., T.H. woke up
"to a man [she] did not know inside of [her] in [her]
bed." T.H. clarified that her characterization of the
incident meant that the unknown man forced his penis inside
her vagina. T.H. described the man as a "[t]all
African-American" man with a "black do-rag on his
head." After waking up to the assault, T.H. screamed,
yelled, and chased the man out of her apartment. As T.H.
chased the man, T.H. saw him grab a white bag by the front
door of the apartment. T.H. later observed that she was
missing fifty dollars, a money order, and a beer from her
refrigerator. T.H. was unable to identify her assailant.
ten minutes before the assault took place, T.H.'s
neighbor, N.B., observed a black male standing on the stairs
of the apartment complex, wearing all-black clothing and a
black "do-rag." He also described that the black
male was carrying a white "book bag." A few minutes
later, N.B. witnessed the same black male walk out of
T.H.'s apartment building at a fast pace and followed by
T.H. According to N.B., T.H. "started breaking down into
tears" and stated, "I woke up and he was next to
me." N.B. later identified the black male as Cousett,
both in a photo lineup and at Cousett's trial. Detective
Jeffrey Michael Oglesby ("Detective Oglesby") of
the Virginia Beach Police Department administered the photo
array to N.B. the night of the assault on T.H.
two hours after the assault on T.H., and within half a mile
of T.H.'s apartment, Cousett entered I.P.'s
apartment. At the time, I.P. was sitting on her sofa, and her
front door was unlocked. I.P. described Cousett as "a
little bit over average height," African-American, and
in his mid-to-late forties or early fifties. I.P. also stated
that Cousett was wearing dark clothing and had a "cream
colored bag slung over his . . . right shoulder." I.P.
described that after Cousett entered her apartment, Cousett
"latche[d] the door closed and he turn[ed] around and
[said] shh to [her]." I.P. subsequently ran to the door
to unlatch it. Cousett repeatedly punched I.P. on the right
side of her head, "four to six" times, until I.P.
was able to unlatch the door. When I.P. twisted the door
handle to open it, Cousett pushed the door open and ran out
of the apartment. I.P. was unable to identify Cousett in a
photo lineup, but she identified Cousett as her assailant at
Cousett's preliminary hearing and trial.
the area of the two incidents later that night, Officer
William Patrick Ahern, Jr. ("Officer Ahern"), of
the Virginia Beach Police Department discovered a white
"drawstring" bag on a bench in the "convention
center area," approximately a quarter of a mile from
I.P.'s apartment. After Officer Daley of the Virginia
Beach Police Department arrived on the scene, Officer Ahern
observed a cell phone, money, and Cousett's
identification card inside of the bag. Additionally, Officer
Ahern observed two red spots on the outside of the bag that
he believed to be blood stains.
February 6, 2017, a grand jury indicted Cousett on multiple
charges stemming from the night of August 6, 2016. Regarding
the incident involving T.H., the grand jury charged Cousett
with one count of rape of T.H. and burglary with the intent
to commit rape/robbery/murder. Regarding the incident
involving I.P., the grand jury charged Cousett with one count
of abduction and burglary with the intent to commit
larceny/assault/battery. Cousett was also charged with one
count of assault and battery against I.P.
trial, Cousett moved to sever the charges involving T.H. from
those involving I.P. On May 22, 2017, following a hearing, the
circuit court denied Cousett's motion. Cousett