Keesee v. Com., 740999

Docket NºNo. 740999
Citation216 Va. 174, 217 S.E.2d 808
Case DateSeptember 05, 1975
CourtSupreme Court of Virginia

Page 808

217 S.E.2d 808
216 Va. 174
Walter Ford KEESEE, Jr.
Record No. 740999.
Supreme Court of Virginia.
Sept. 5, 1975.

Page 809

Joseph R. Johnson, Jr., Lynchburg, for plaintiff in error.

Wilburn C. Dibling, Jr., Asst. Atty. Gen. (Andrew P. Miller, Atty. Gen., on brief), for defendant in error.



Walter Ford Keesee, Jr. appeals his convictions, after a jury trial, upon warrants charging that he unlawfully caused or encouraged two of his daughters under the age of 18 to commit misdemeanors. Code § 18.1--14. The sole issue we decide is whether the Commonwealth proved that the offenses occurred within the territorial jurisdiction of the trial court.

The Commonwealth concedes that there is no direct evidence of venue, but it contends that it has adequately shown the situs of the crimes to be within the City of Lynchburg by certain indirect and circumstantial evidence. We do not agree.

[216 Va. 175] The crimes and surrounding events took place on April 12, 1974, in 'Hill's Department Store' and on its adjacent parking lot. The facts relied on to establish venue are as follows: that an officer of the City of Lynchburg Police Department was assigned to investigate the crimes; that the defendant's automobile, which contained certain merchandise taken from the store, was moved, on the day of the offenses, to the City of Lynchburg police lot; that the defendant's wife called the City police station from the defendant's home in the City of Lynchburg and asked the investigating officer to come to the home to 'talk' about the case; that the warrants issued against the defendant stated that the offenses took place within the City of Lynchburg; and that the offenses were committed at Hill's Department Store. This is not sufficient to prove that venue was properly laid.

The burden is on the Commonwealth to prove venue by evidence which is either direct or circumstantial. Ware v. Commonwealth, 214 Va. 520, 522, 201 S.E.2d 791, 793 (1974). The criminal charge cannot

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be sustained unless the evidence furnishes the foundation for a 'strong presumption' that the offense was committed within the jurisdiction of the court. Harding v. Commonwealth, 132 Va. 543, 548, 110 S.E. 376, 378 (1922); Butler v. Commonwealth, 81 Va. 159, 163 (1885). The venue facts proved may be aided by judicial notice of geographical facts that are...

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36 cases
  • Williams v. Commonwealth
    • United States
    • Virginia Court of Appeals of Virginia
    • January 14, 2020
    ...249 Va. 21, 23, 452 S.E.2d 656 (1995) (holding that appellate judicial notice was not appropriate in that case); Keesee v. Commonwealth, 216 Va. 174, 175, 217 S.E.2d 808 (1975) (holding that the record did not contain enough facts to support taking judicial notice of venue), with Buttery v.......
  • Romero v. Commonwealth, Record No. 0050-13-4
    • United States
    • Virginia Court of Appeals of Virginia
    • March 25, 2014
    ...Cheng v. Commonwealth, 240 Va. 26, 36, 393 S.E.2d 599, 604 (1990); Pollard, 220 Va. at 726, 261 S.E.2d at 330; Keesee v. Commonwealth, 216 Va. 174, 175, 217 S.E.2d 808, 810 (1975); Harding v. Commonwealth, 132 Va. 543, 548, 110 S.E. 376, 378 (1922); Chambliss v. Commonwealth, 62 Va. App. 45......
  • Taylor v. Com., Record No. 0938-96-2.
    • United States
    • Virginia Court of Appeals of Virginia
    • July 21, 1998
    ...must appear from the record." Sutherland v. Commonwealth, 6 Va.App. 378, 383, 368 S.E.2d 295, 298 (1988) (citing Keesee v. Commonwealth, 216 Va. 174, 175, 217 S.E.2d 808, 809 (1975) (per curiam)). Although the court did not use the words "judicial notice," we find that the trial court's rul......
  • Cheng v. Com., s. 891096 and 891098
    • United States
    • Virginia Supreme Court of Virginia
    • June 8, 1990 or circumstantial evidence. Pollard v. Commonwealth, 220 Va. 723, 725, 261 S.E.2d 328, 330 (1980); Keesee v. Commonwealth, 216 Va. 174, 175, 217 S.E.2d 808, 809-10 (1975). A Robbery The robbery indictment charged that Cheng robbed Liu of "keys, a wallet and a briefcase and the conten......
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