Wansley v. Com., 5770

Docket NºNo. 5770
Citation205 Va. 419, 137 S.E.2d 870
Case DateSeptember 11, 1964
CourtSupreme Court of Virginia

Page 870

137 S.E.2d 870
205 Va. 419

Record No. 5770.
Supreme Court of Appeals of Virginia
September 11, 1964.

William M. Kunstler and L. W. Holt (Arthur Kinoy, on brief), for the plaintiff in error.

W. P. Bagwell, Jr., Assistant Attorney General (Robert Y. Button, Attorney General, on brief), for the Commonwealth.


WHITTLE, J., delivered the opinion of the court.

Page 871

Thomas Carlton Wansley, a negro youth age 17, was tried as an [205 Va. 420] adult in the corporation court of the city of Lynchburg on February 7, 1963, under two indictments charging him with robbery and rape of one Annie Carter, a mature white woman. Wansley entered pleas of not guilty to both indictments and by agreement the cases were tried together. Upon the jury's verdict finding the accused guilty of rape and fixing his punishment at death, final judgment was entered on February 7, 1963. Final judgment was also entered on the jury's verdict finding him guilty of robbery and fixing his punishment at twenty years in the penitentiary. A writ of error and supersedeas were granted to review both judgments.

The accused being 17 years of age at the time of the alleged crimes, the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court of the city of Lynchburg ordered an investigation to be made upon a petition charging the rape of Annie Carter pursuant to provisions of §§ 16.1-164 and 16.1-176 of the Code of Virginia 1950, as amended. See Tilton v. Commonwealth, 196 Va. 774, 85 S.E.2d 368. Pursuant to this order, probation officer Strong interviewed the accused on December 10, 1962 and filed a comprehensive written report recommending that the accused be tried as an adult.

At the preliminary hearing on December 13, 1962, the juvenile court adjudged that Wansley could not be adequately controlled as a juvenile, ordered that he be tried as an adult, and certified the case to the corporation court to await action of the grand jury.

Reuben Lawson, a Roanoke attorney, was selected by Wansley and his mother to represent him. Lawson represented the accused at the preliminary hearing and at subsequent proceedings, including the trial in the corporation court on February 7, 1963, under the indictments charging the rape and robbery of Annie Carter.

There was no appeal from the judgment of the juvenile court and the indictments for rape and robbery were subsequently returned by the grand jury. On December 18, 1962 the judge of the corporation court appointed Dr. John G. Novak, a psychiatrist, to examine the accused for the purpose of determining whether his mental condition was such that he should be committed to a mental institution for observation. Dr. Novak's report indicated that, in his opinion, the accused was capable of standing trial.

On January 7, 1963 the accused, together with his counsel, appeared before the court and in response to request of counsel for the accused, the cases were set for trial on February 7, 1963.

Counsel for the accused had been unable to secure the services of a court reporter and on February 5, 1963 a motion for a continuance [205 Va. 421] was made in order to enable counsel to secure such services. This motion was overruled. Again on February 7, 1963, the day of trial, counsel filed a written motion seeking a continuance for the same reason, which, over the objection and exception of counsel, was overruled.

The cases proceeded to trial and the accused was found guilty of rape, his punishment being fixed at death, and judgment was entered on this verdict. He was likewise found guilty of robbery and his punishment fixed at twenty years in the penitentiary, upon which verdict judgment was also entered.

On February 28, 1963 attorney...

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13 cases
  • Wansley v. Slayton, 73-1151.
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (4th Circuit)
    • 8 d4 Novembro d4 1973
    ...trial in February, 1963, he was convicted but his conviction was reversed by the Virginia Supreme Court. Wansley v. Commonwealth (1964) 205 Va. 419, 137 S.E.2d 870.1 The second trial on the robbery charge in October, 1966, resulted in a mistrial. In this third trial, held almost five years ......
  • Wilkins v. Commonwealth, Record No. 0682–14–1.
    • United States
    • Virginia Court of Appeals of Virginia
    • 12 d2 Maio d2 2015
    ...Court with a record complete enough to demonstrate that the trial court abused its discretion in this manner.See Wansley v. Commonwealth, 205 Va. 419, 422, 137 S.E.2d 870, 872–73 (1964) (stating that the appellant “must present a sufficient record on which the court can determine whether or......
  • McDonald v. National Enterprises, Inc., Record No. 001773.
    • United States
    • Virginia Supreme Court of Virginia
    • 8 d5 Junho d5 2001
    ...a sufficient record on which this Court can determine whether the circuit court erred as McDonald contends. Wansley v. Commonwealth, 205 Va. 419, 422, 137 S.E.2d 870, 873 (1964). Because McDonald has furnished an insufficient record, the judgment of the circuit court regarding the award of ......
  • Kennedy v. Com., 1128-92-1
    • United States
    • Virginia Court of Appeals of Virginia
    • 28 d2 Junho d2 1994
    ...that defendant has failed to establish that the trial judge abused her discretion in permitting the reading. See Wansley v. Commonwealth, 205 Va. 419, 421, 137 S.E.2d 870, 872 (1964), cert. denied, 380 U.S. 922, 85 S.Ct. 920, 13 L.Ed.2d 806 (1965). Appellate courts will not interfere with t......
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