Hodnett v. Commonwealth (U)

Evidence was sufficient to find the defendant guilty of constructive possession of ammunition as a felon.

The defendant owned the vehicle where the ammunition was found and drove it “all the time.” He’d been in close proximity to the ammunition on the same day that the search warrant was executed, having driven the car alone. Just prior to search, an officer had observed him doing “something on the inside” of the passenger’s side of the vehicle for “a minute or so.” The box of shotgun shells would have been “open and obvious” to anyone looking down at the pouch because it protruded about 3 inches from the back side of the passenger’s seat.

Moreover, the defendant’s conspicuous failure or neglect to have his only alibi witness directly say the ammunition was his, not the defendant’s, is an incriminating circumstance that the factfinder could consider.

Affirmed. Two justices dissented.

Hodnett v. Commonwealth (U), No. 180528, Apr. 11, 2019. SCV (per curiam) from CAV.



Categories: Opinions, Supreme Court of Virginia, Unpublished

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