Thomas v. Commonwealth (P)

The circuit court’s order sentencing the defendant to ten years, with three suspended on certain conditions, for felony child abuse and neglect was contrary to Virginia law.

Once it determined that the full seven years fixed by the jury had to be served, the court was obliged under Code § 19.2-295.2 to impose a separate additional term of up to three years of post-release supervision, under the supervision and review of the Parole Board. The court was further required, under the authority of Code § 18.2-10, to impose a linked suspended term of incarceration.

The order as written, however, did not specify that the additional time was imposed pursuant to Code §§ 18.2-10 and 19.2-295.2. Furthermore, the period of post-release supervision imposed by the trial court was not “under the supervision and review of the Virginia Parole Board.” The court impermissibly lengthened the sentence fixed by the jury from seven years to ten years, which the Code does not authorize.

Reversed and remanded.

Thomas v. Commonwealth (P), No. 170707, Oct. 18, 2018. SCV (McCullough) from CAV.

Categories: Opinions, Published, Supreme Court of Virginia

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