Robber’s mere threat of having a handgun permits felony firearm conviction
Fairfax criminal lawyer/ Arlington DWI attorney pursuing your best defense, since 1991
Northern Virginia criminal defense lawyer addressing using a firearm in the commission of a felony
People need to be careful of their words, lest they end up eating those words. Randell Linlaw learned that the hard way.
Kinlaw entered a tanning salon, and passed the employee a note proclaiming words along the lines of “I have a gun. I don’t want to
hurt you. Give me the money . . . .” Kinlaw v. Virginia, Record No. 0761-16-1 (Va. App. June 20, 2017) (unpublished).
Kinlaw received a substantial sentence. The trial court “sentenced the appellant to fifty years in prison, with thirty-five years suspended, for the robbery conviction. For the use of a firearm, it sentenced him to three years, with none of the time suspended.”
In an unpublished opinion, the Virginia Court of Appeals affirmed Kinlaw’s conviction on both counts. The Court of Appeals in part said: “We hold that the circumstantial evidence, including a note that the appellant gave to his robbery victim stating that he had a gun and that he did not want to hurt her, was sufficient to prove that he used a firearm in the commission of a felony.”
Even if Kinlaw was merely lying that he had a handgun when he robbed the tanning salon, his lie boomeranged back at him. One needs to be ready to own their own lies.