Three Strikes in Lynchburg: And You Are Out For Life
Baseball has moved from the City Stadium and into the court room. Three violent crimes and you may face life in jail, in Lynchburg.
This fact was made painfully clear to Jamil Ali Rashad, when a Lynchburg jury deliberated twenty minutes, and Ali may have earned his final court room stat of life in jail, as reported by The News and Daily Advance. On his final strike Rashad committed two counts of robbery, statutory burglary while armed with a deadly weapon, illegally wearing a mask in public and three firearm charges. Now Rashad, has time to contemplate how his actions will lead him to a life behind bars.
According to The News and Advance:
Chief Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Mike Doucette said, "I think the (three strikes) rule is in response to the men like Rashad who still commit serious violent felonies. He is a classic example of the need for such a law."
The News and Advance also reported that: "Rashad's defense attorney, William Quillian, had argued that Rashad ran from police because he was driving intoxicated on a suspended license, not because he had robbed the hotel."
Now thanks to Chief Deputy Commonwealth's Attorney Mike Doucette and a Lynchburg jury Rashad is out of the baseball game of crime. Well lets hope there could be an appeal.
From the Lynchburg District Attorneys Office:
On June 28, 2005, Jamil Ali Rashad, also known as James Warren Brown, Jr., 51, of 2227 Park Avenue, Lynchburg was convicted of robbing a night manager and a security guard at the Lynchburg Radisson Hotel on January 1, 2004.
The Lynchburg Circuit Court jury convicted Rashad of two counts of robbery, one count of burglary while armed with a deadly weapon, three counts of using a firearm in the commission of a felony and one count of wearing a mask in public. The jury recommended a total sentence of two life imprisonment terms plus 38 years.
Chief Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael R. Doucette presented the evidence for the prosecution during the two day trial. The evidence showed that shortly after 3:00 a.m. on New Year’s Day, 2004, a masked robber entered the Radisson Hotel on Candler’s Mountain Road and threatened to shoot the night manager and security guard, demanding the hotel’s money from the office safe. After ordering the men to the floor, the robber took in excess of $1400.00 and fled.
Lt. Jeff Bauserman of the Lynchburg Police Department, responding to the robbery call, saw a car leaving the area of the Radisson and decided to follow it. When the driver of the car fled at a high rate of speed and with his lights turned off, Bauserman was able to track the car to the dead end of Clover Place where he found it abandoned and crashed into a dirt pile. Rashad’s shoes were found on the ground next to the vehicle as was the robbery money, a pair of his pants and a black hooded jacket that was later identified by the robbery victims as identical to the one the robber wore. Rashad was tracked by a State Police helicopter using an infrared thermal imager to a parking lot about a ¼ mile away through the woods. When he was arrested hiding under a tractor trailer, he was shoeless, wet and muddy. In a taped interview later at the police department, Rashad confessed to Investigator Randy Trent of the Lynchburg Police Department that he was the man who had committed the robbery.
Rashad was charged and convicted under Virginia’s “three strikes” violent felon law. He had previously been convicted of six counts of robbery in 1975 and one count of robbery in 1987. In the 1987 robbery, he and two accomplices robbed the same hotel building as in the 2004 offense, which was doing business at the time as the Lynchburg Hilton. Under Virginia’s “three strikes” law, a third violent felony conviction results in an automatic life sentence. This was the second time since the 1994 implementation of this law that a Lynchburg jury has sentenced someone under its provisions.
Final sentencing before Judge Mosby G. Perrow, III, is set for August 19, 2005 at 2:00 p.m
(Local police, law and crime)