Lynchburg Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney

Lynchburg Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney Chief Prosecutorial Authority for the City of Lynchburg, Virginia. Visit our full website: http://www.ocalynchburg.com/ Please see our Social Media Policy: http://tinyurl.com/c4vx7dk
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The Commonwealth's Attorney for the City of Lynchburg is Michael R. Doucette. The Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney is responsible for the prosecution of all violations of the criminal law occurring in the City of Lynchburg. In addition, the office handles a variety of other public safety responsibilities ranging from training and advice to police officers to helping victims cope with the consequences of crime. Our office consists of a Commonwealth's Attorney, two Deputy Commonwealth's Attorneys, eight Assistant Commonwealth's Attorneys, nine support personnel, four Victim/Witness Assistants, and one investigator. We prosecute over 1000 felony cases and more than 600 instances of family violence every year. The Victim/Witness Program exists to ensure that victims of and witnesses to crime receive fair and compassionate treatment as active participants in the criminal justice system. Serving the citizens of Lynchburg since 1978, the Victim/Witness Program is currently staffed by a full-time director and three assistants. Under the leadership of director Susan Clark, the primary goals of the program are to respond to the emotional and physical needs of victims of crime, to help victims and witnesses understand and participate in the criminal justice system, and to provide appropriate information and referrals for community services.

Mission: The goal of this office is to guarantee that those citizens who give of their time to help us fight crime are treated fairly and with respect; that the law is applied evenly to all; that we fight hard but fair; and, most importantly, that no matter what the outcome, it can be said that justice was done.

Great news for easier access to emergency services.
07/14/2020
'Text to 911' now available in Lynchburg region

Great news for easier access to emergency services.

Emergency dispatchers in the Hill City and neighboring counties are now able to accept and reply to text messages as part of a major upgrade to the state’s 911 infrastructure.

Tomorrow, Friday, July 3, 2020, our office will be closed in recognition of the 244th celebration of American independen...
07/02/2020
Fourth of July – Independence Day

Tomorrow, Friday, July 3, 2020, our office will be closed in recognition of the 244th celebration of American independence on July 4, 2020. To find out more about the events surrounding July 4, 1776 and the history of celebrations surrounding the holiday, click the link below.

The Fourth of July—also known as Independence Day or July 4th—has been a federal holiday in the United States since 1941, but the tradition of Independence Day

We are glad to see the B.I.K.E. Program was able to award students for their achievements during the final semester of s...
06/26/2020

We are glad to see the B.I.K.E. Program was able to award students for their achievements during the final semester of school. Thank you One Community, One Voice, the Lynchburg Sheriff's Office, the Lynchburg Police Department, and representatives from Lynchburg City Schools for seeing this to completion.

We will award a fourth BIKE to a Heritage Elementary student on next Tuesday! We are working on a plan to deliver to Perrymont and Dearington students in July! Stay tuned!

A big welcome goes to our summer interns Jacob Gordon, Andrew Lopiano, and Desmond Rice.  They are all rising 3Ls at Lib...
06/22/2020

A big welcome goes to our summer interns Jacob Gordon, Andrew Lopiano, and Desmond Rice. They are all rising 3Ls at Liberty University School of Law. A fun fact about each intern: Jacob is a professional violinist who has played with the Lynchburg Symphony Orchestra; Andrew was a competitive ballroom dancer; and Desmond played football for Liberty University.

Please take a moment today to read the history of and reflect on Juneteenth, a day we commemorate the abolition of the a...
06/19/2020
JUNETEENTH WORLD WIDE CELEBRATION

Please take a moment today to read the history of and reflect on Juneteenth, a day we commemorate the abolition of the abominable and horrific practice of slavery in the United States.

Juneteenth is the oldest nationally celebrated commemoration of the ending of slavery in the United States. June 19thMajor General Gordon GrangerGalveston, Texasenslaved were now freetwo and a half years afterEmancipation Proclamationbecome official January 1, 1863Executive Ordersurrender of Genera....

Please be aware that the latest Declaration of a Judicial Emergency requires everyone aged 10 years or older to wear a f...
06/01/2020

Please be aware that the latest Declaration of a Judicial Emergency requires everyone aged 10 years or older to wear a face covering when inside a court building. The presiding judge may authorize the removal of a face covering to facilitate a proceeding. This requirement does not apply to those who have difficulty breathing, who cannot remove the face covering without help, or those with other medical issues that make the wearing of a face covering unsafe. This requirement is in effect June 8, 2020 through June 28, 2020.

Today, Governor Northam released new face covering requirements for all citizens inside public places.

These requirements exclude the following:

▪ While eating or drinking
▪ While exercising
▪ If you have trouble breathing or are unable to remove the mask without help
▪ If your health conditions prohibit wearing a face covering

These requirements will become mandatory on Friday.

Starting Monday, May 18, 2020 the Lynchburg Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and the Lynchburg General District Cou...
05/16/2020

Starting Monday, May 18, 2020 the Lynchburg Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court and the Lynchburg General District Court will resume hearing cases as scheduled. Please arrive early to account for time spent testing temperatures at the door and other safety precautions implemented to reduce the risk of spread of communicable diseases.

Parole grants spark criticism from prosecutors, families
05/11/2020
Parole grants spark criticism from prosecutors, families

Parole grants spark criticism from prosecutors, families

RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — During a push to accelerate the review of parole-eligible inmates because of the coronavirus pandemic, Virginia released dozens of violent offenders, including killers, rapists and kidnappers,

Photos from Lynchburg Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney's post
05/07/2020

Photos from Lynchburg Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney's post

04/13/2020

Social Media Policy est. April 4, 2013

We welcome you and your comments to our page. We encourage you to submit your questions, comments, and concerns, but please note this is a moderated online discussion and not a public forum. The comments expressed on this site do not reflect the opinions and position of the Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney and its employees.

The Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney reserves the right to remove any content and/or posts to this page for any reason. In particular, the Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney will not tolerate comments, photos, submissions, notes, posts, etc. that contain vulgar language, personal attacks of any kind, or offensive comments that target or disparage any ethnic, racial, or religious group.

Furthermore, the Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney will not tolerate comments, photos, submissions, notes, posts, etc. which:

1. Consist of spam or include links to other sites; and/or
2. Are clearly off topic; and/or
3. Advocate any illegal activity; and/or
4. Promote particular services, products, or political organizations; and/or
5. Infringe on copyrights or trademarks.

Last week Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Jessie Dumond "retired" from her career in prosecution to enter the world of...
04/02/2020

Last week Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Jessie Dumond "retired" from her career in prosecution to enter the world of civil practice. She is pictured 3rd from the right in this August 2018 photo. Sadly we could not have the usual farewell party due to restrictions on social gatherings. She was a fierce advocate for victims of crime and we will miss her tremendously.

03/25/2020
Chief Zuidema COVID-19 Community Message 3/25/2020

Chief Zuidema COVID-19 Community Message 3/25/2020

Chief Ryan Zuidema is asking all Lynchburg residents to take Governor Northam's most recent Executive Order seriously and practice safe social distancing. Th...

Congratulations Mike Doucette!
03/15/2020
The News & Advance

Congratulations Mike Doucette!

Former Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Doucette will soon be donning the black as the newest judge sitting in the 24th Judicial District.

Exciting news!  The Virginia Association of Commonwealth's Attorneys has a website.  Please click on the link below and ...
02/20/2020
HOME | Virginia Association

Exciting news! The Virginia Association of Commonwealth's Attorneys has a website. Please click on the link below and find information about the role of the prosecutor as well as myths and facts about the criminal justice system.

The mission of the Virginia Association of Commonwealth’s Attorneys (VACA) shall be to foster a closer relationship among fellow prosecutors, law enforcement and the public; to promote uniformity in the fair, effective and efficient administration of the law; to provide input on legislation that a...

Congratulations to Judge Burnette on his retirement and enduring legacy.
02/10/2020
As judge, Burnette wasn't afraid to change the play

Congratulations to Judge Burnette on his retirement and enduring legacy.

In retiring from his post as Lynchburg circuit court judge, Ed Burnette may have ended a 42-year law career, but his professional engagement, leadership and mentorship are considered by many

01/28/2020

JOIN OUR TEAM! We have an immediate opening for a part-time (30 hours per week) Legal Support Receptionist. For additional information and instructions on how to apply, please go to our website at https://www.ocalynchburg.com.

ICYMI: Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Bethany Harrison was interviewed by Brian Weigand with WIQO this morning regard...
01/23/2020
The Morning Show on WIQO

ICYMI: Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Bethany Harrison was interviewed by Brian Weigand with WIQO this morning regarding criminal justice bills in the 2020 General Assembly.

#ICYMI: Lynchburg Commonwealth's Attorney Bethany Harrison talked about democrats in control wanting to change the parole system as well as the decriminalization of marijuana and gun control legislation

-BREAKING NEWS: a fire at the former Bedford Middle School

-State Senator Steve Newman talked General Assembly: what's new with the budget, the ride share bill on the table, gun control legislation, and abortion

-More on the fire at the former Bedford Middle School

-National/international headlines: 3 American firefighters have parished in a C-130 crash in Australia & Game of Thrones alternate ending confirmed by George R.R. Martin

-A dog started a fire in a home in Utah

-Animals segment: iguana meat sales on the rise following "Falling Iguanas" warning in Florida, proposed DOT rule would ban service animals without legitimate training on flights, and 200 animals were rescued from a home in Texas

-#RIPeanut: odd pregame Super Bowl ad depicting the death of Mr. Peanut

The energy and enthusiasm the students of R.S. Payne had this morning was inspiring.  All of our city officials look for...
01/17/2020

The energy and enthusiasm the students of R.S. Payne had this morning was inspiring. All of our city officials look forward to the BIKE Program days. How could you not smile having witnessed the hard work and determination of these kids? The students in each of our participating elementary schools have two more chances this school year to reach their goals of increased attendance, improved grades, and good citizenship in order to have his or her name entered into a drawing for a new bicycle.

What’s better than a 3-day weekend? Being presented with a brand new bicycle before starting a 3-day weekend, that’s what! OCOV along with Community Heroes from the Lynchburg Police Department Lynchburg Sheriff's Office Lynchburg Fire Department Lynchburg Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney Lynchburg City Schools City of Lynchburg, Virginia Government presented bikes for second quarter achievements at RS Payne this morning. ‘ Believe In Kids Excelling’
#BIKE #coolkidsridebikes #carriedunganisthebestphotographer

We our pleased to announce Mary Booker's promotion to Director of the Lynchburg Victim Witness Program. Mary was hired a...
01/14/2020

We our pleased to announce Mary Booker's promotion to Director of the Lynchburg Victim Witness Program. Mary was hired as a Victim Witness Assistant in 1999. Prior to working in the Lynchburg office she interned at the Campbell County Victim Witness Program. With 20 years of experience, a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, and a Master’s degree in Human Services Counseling with a concentration in Criminal Justice, Mary is highly suited for her new position. Mary currently serves on a variety of teams and councils including the Coalition Against Domestic Violence for the 24th District, Lynchburg Elder and Child Abuse Multidisciplinary Team, Lynchburg Sexual Assault Response Team, Lynchburg Domestic Abuse Response Team, Lynchburg City Schools Criminal Justice Advisory Board, Virginia Sexual Assault Response Team Statewide Advisory Council, and the Virginia VINE (Victim Notification & Notification Everyday) Advisory Board. When asked what her future goals and visions for directing the program she replied, "I was trained by two of the very best Victim Advocates in the state--Susan Clark and Pam Cooke. We have a great Victim Witness Team in place and I look forward to maintaining the level of service and professionalism provided to victims set forth by Susan Clark. We are always looking at ways to make the process easier for victims!”

We were excited to start this school quarter’s round of B.I.K.E. awards with One Community One Voice!  Thank you LPD for...
01/14/2020

We were excited to start this school quarter’s round of B.I.K.E. awards with One Community One Voice! Thank you LPD for sharing the photos.

Along with our partners from One Community One Voice Lynchburg, Virginia, Lynchburg Sheriff's Office, Lynchburg Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney, and Lynchburg Fire Department, we presented eight deserving students with bikes last week. These students earned the bikes after demonstrated improved grades, attendance, or behavior during the previous nine weeks. We congratulate all on their success!

As we wish Susan Clark a Happy Retirement, we reflect on her incredible legacy, 33 years of service assisting thousands ...
12/31/2019

As we wish Susan Clark a Happy Retirement, we reflect on her incredible legacy, 33 years of service assisting thousands of victims and witnesses of crime. As quoted by many, “there is only one Susan Clark” and this office and the citizens of Lynchburg have been so fortunate to have received her quick smile, comforting presence, and experience her true passion to comfort and assist others in navigating the arduous criminal justice process. We wish Susan a very happy retirement and the best life can offer! Well deserved Susan, so very well deserved.

Congratulations to our own Jim Puckett who was chosen as one of Virginia Lawyers Weekly Unsung Legal Heroes for 2019!
12/23/2019

Congratulations to our own Jim Puckett who was chosen as one of Virginia Lawyers Weekly Unsung Legal Heroes for 2019!

Congratulations to our Chief Legal Assistant Christina Dale (20 years), ACA Kelsey Brown (5 years), Senior ACA Janell Jo...
12/19/2019

Congratulations to our Chief Legal Assistant Christina Dale (20 years), ACA Kelsey Brown (5 years), Senior ACA Janell Johnson (20 years), and Senior ACA Jessica Vormwald (5 years) on their milestone anniversaries in service to this city.

🎁🎄Bringing Christmas cheer to our elderly community. Merry Christmas Martha and Esther! Thank you Jessie Dumond, Susan C...
12/18/2019

🎁🎄Bringing Christmas cheer to our elderly community. Merry Christmas Martha and Esther! Thank you Jessie Dumond, Susan Clark, Jim Puckett, Lauren Barber, and Janell Johnson for giving!

After bumping into the victim in their apartment complex stairwell, the victim asked Davis where were his manners.  Davi...
12/18/2019
Lynchburg man sentenced to 20 years after apartment complex stabbing last year

After bumping into the victim in their apartment complex stairwell, the victim asked Davis where were his manners. Davis responded to the victim's statements by stabbing the victim repeatedly. To this day, the victim has complications and pain due to the injuries he suffered. Thank you Det. Joseph Tucker, Senior CA Jessica Vormwald, and Victim-Witness Director Susan Clark for your hard work on this case.

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- A Lynchburg man has been sentenced to20 yearsof imprisonment for the aggravated malicious wounding that occurred in September 2018. According to a press release, Lynchburg Circuit Court Judge R. Edwin Burnette, Jr. sentenced Jamel Owen Davis to twenty active years of impriso...

A tremendous effort by Deputy CA Andrew Childress, ACA Kelsey Brown, Victim-Witness Advocate Judy McDarris, Det. David D...
12/18/2019
Man convicted of Lynchburg shooting that killed man and blinded woman

A tremendous effort by Deputy CA Andrew Childress, ACA Kelsey Brown, Victim-Witness Advocate Judy McDarris, Det. David Dubie with the Lynchburg Police Department, and many others at the LPD who built this case and allowed justice to be served for our victims and the community. During the shooting, Beasley fired multiple rounds up 18th Street where his bullets struck and killed Andra Watson, permanently injured Chenae Skinner, and struck an occupied home where the resident, thankfully, was not hit. Because of his prior criminal record involving illegal use of firearms and due to the facts of this case, the jury handed down a sentence to ensure the safety of everyone in our community from Beasley's random acts of violence.

The jury recommended a total sentence of 76 years in prison and a $200,000 fine. Official sentencing is set for February 2020.

"She was charged with collecting a meals tax from her patrons on behalf of the city, and then instead of remitting that ...
12/12/2019
Owner of closed restaurant faces years of jail time for embezzlement in Lynchburg

"She was charged with collecting a meals tax from her patrons on behalf of the city, and then instead of remitting that to the city, keeping that money for herself," said Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Mike Pflieger. The amount owed in back taxes, penalties, and fees totaled $150,000.00.

LYNCHBURG, Va. (WSET) -- The owner of the closed Bull Branch restaurant in Lynchburg is facing years of jail time for embezzlement. Authorities arrested Anne Scott Cardwell last year and charged her with nine counts of embezzlement in reference to the meals tax. Years after Cardwell closed Bull Bran...

Take a moment to read about our very own trail blazer in victim advocacy. We will miss Susan dearly when she retires at ...
12/10/2019
The News & Advance

Take a moment to read about our very own trail blazer in victim advocacy. We will miss Susan dearly when she retires at the end of the year.

Programs to help victims and witnesses of crime navigate the confusing and intimidating justice system were just getting traction in Virginia when Clark started out.

For Thanksgiving 2019, we, at the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney for the city of Lynchburg, continued our annual ...
11/28/2019

For Thanksgiving 2019, we, at the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney for the city of Lynchburg, continued our annual tradition of donating funds to support some of the many worthy non-profits in our area. Members of our office voluntarily picked a non-profit of his or her choice to make a donation. We do this as a way to say “Thank you!” to all those organizations who strive to make our community a better place. We come into contact and work with many of these non-profits to help our victims of crime and to work toward crime prevention. We are so grateful to live in a community that wants to take care of its citizens. When we all take part in ways big and small, we can make such a positive change.

God bless you and keep you this Thanksgiving and always,

Bethany Harrison
Commonwealth’s Attorney
for the City of Lynchburg

Congratulations to Victim-Witness Advocate Mary Booker who celebrates her 20th year of service with our office. For two ...
11/22/2019

Congratulations to Victim-Witness Advocate Mary Booker who celebrates her 20th year of service with our office. For two decades she has positively impacted victims of crime with compassion and support. Thank you for the years of dedicated service Mary!

Today was bittersweet at the OCA Lynchburg Office as Angie Mays officially retired after 41 years of service to victims ...
11/15/2019

Today was bittersweet at the OCA Lynchburg Office as Angie Mays officially retired after 41 years of service to victims and witnesses of crime. Court of Appeals Judge Bill Petty, a former Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney, joined us to share some fond memories of working with Angie. Her compassion and work ethic made the sometimes trying process of the criminal justice system easier to navigate for our victims of crime. We will miss her terribly!

Address

901 Church Street, PO BOX 1539
Lynchburg, VA
24504

General information

The City of Lynchburg is in central Virginia, located in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains and bordered by the James River. The population of Lynchburg is approximately 77,000, with the metropolitan statistical area surrounding the City boasting some 246,000 people.

Opening Hours

Monday 08:30 - 17:00
Tuesday 08:30 - 17:00
Wednesday 08:30 - 17:00
Thursday 08:30 - 17:00
Friday 08:30 - 17:00

Telephone

(434) 455-3760

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The Commonwealth's Attorney for the City of Lynchburg is Bethany Harrison. The Office of the Commonwealth's Attorney is responsible for the prosecution of all violations of the criminal law occurring in the City of Lynchburg. In addition, the office handles a variety of other public safety responsibilities ranging from training and advice to police officers to helping victims cope with the consequences of crime. Our office consists of a Commonwealth's Attorney, two Deputy Commonwealth's Attorneys, eight Assistant Commonwealth's Attorneys, nine support personnel, four Victim/Witness Assistants, and one investigator. We prosecute over 1000 felony cases and more than 600 instances of family violence every year. The Victim/Witness Program exists to ensure that victims of and witnesses to crime receive fair and compassionate treatment as active participants in the criminal justice system. Serving the citizens of Lynchburg since 1978, the Victim/Witness Program is currently staffed by a full-time director and three assistants. Under the leadership of director Susan Clark, the primary goals of the program are to respond to the emotional and physical needs of victims of crime, to help victims and witnesses understand and participate in the criminal justice system, and to provide appropriate information and referrals for community services.


Comments

YOU HAVE A LEGAL OBLIGATION TO PROSECUTE. “We’re not a school; we’re a real estate hedge fund,” said a senior university official with inside knowledge of Liberty’s finances. “We’re not educating; we’re buying real estate every year and taking students’ money to do it.”
TIME TO INDICT FALWELL!
Falwell Jr. got away with paying off that pool boy down in Florida. Why wasn't he indicted?
Indict FALWELL, not journalists! This man is a disgrace to our nation.
Sad to hear if the passing of Patricia Bolan Tucker. She was the former Director of Extraditions for the Commonwealth of Virginia. She was always very helpful and happy to assist our office in any way she could. Rest In Peace.