New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | December 18, 2018

Barhamsville man cleared of unauthorized use of vehicle charge

By Andre Jones | November 5, 2018 9:01 pm

A charge of unauthorized use of a vehicle lodged against a Barhamsville was dismissed after a Monday morning proceeding in New Kent Circuit Court.

Bryan Matthew Crow, 35, of the 5800 block of Farmers Drive, was found not guilty on the one charge after the contested trial.

On June 21, Holly Gwyn, who was in a relationship with Crow, woke up around 5:30 a.m. to find her phone and purse. Upon not finding the items in her home, she looked outside to discover her vehicle was missing. Gwyn testified that she had an appointment to take her daughter to the doctor but couldn’t do so with the vehicle gone.

Co-workers called police after Gwyn was unable to be contacted because her phone was in the vehicle. After co-workers came to her home, Gwyn received a ride to the police station to report a stolen vehicle.

Gwyn testified in court that she did not allow Crow, who was living with her at the time, did not receive permission to drive the van.

“I didn’t want him to drive the vehicle because he had a suspended license and my car was impounded when he got caught,” said Gwyn.

After the report was filed, Deputy Allison Adkins discovered the vehicle in the yard of the residence during the early morning hours. After conducting an interview, Crow was taken into custody.

During cross-examination, defense attorney Jean McKeen asked about the history of the vehicle and who purchased the van. Gwyn commented that Crow would “occasionally” put some in, but the car was in her name. McKeen asked if he drove the van at times and the witness responded, “sometimes.” However, Gwyn remained adamant that the vehicle was in her name and that she did not grant permission for Crow to use the vehicle.

With the Commonwealth resting its case, the defense attorney called up witnesses to testify about Crow’s usage of the vehicle in question.

“I’ve seen both of them driving it,” said Damian Landy. “I’ve ridden in the van with him several times while he was driving.”

After additional witnesses made similar comments, Crow elected to testify on his own behalf.

“We did everything together,” the defendant said. “It was our money and it was our things were our things.”

Crow added comments about believing he had permission to use the vehicle. Based on the evidence presented, Judge B. Elliott Bondurant believed there was reasonable doubt, pointing to facts that if the Crow thought he had permission to use the vehicle, he can’t have had the necessary intent to commit the crime. The judge pointed to testimony by Crow, Gwyn, and the other witnesses that he was driving the vehicle. The case was dismissed shortly afterwards.

In other Monday morning circuit court cases:

–Kevin Lamont Jarrell Jr., 30, of the 2500 block of Merle Street, Richmond, received formal sentencing on a single count of distribution of heroin. During a Sept. 10 trial, Jarrell entered into a plea agreement and admitted he distributed the substance on Dec. 6, 2017 to a confidential informant at McDonald’s in Bottoms Bridge.

Jarrell received a 10-year sentence with seven years, 10 months suspended (two years, two months to serve.)

–Gary Antonio Jones, 22, of the 9400 block of Holly Tree Lane, Charles City, entered guilty pleas to an amended charge of misdemeanor assault (originally assault on a law enforcement officer) and misdemeanor DUI (first offense).

In a summary of evidence, on June 2, a Virginia State Trooper responded to an accident on Interstate 64 near mile marker 205 in New Kent. Upon arriving at the scene, he discovered the defendant being treated by an off-duty EMT worker. When speaking with Jones, the officer detected the odor of alcohol. As the investigation continued, Jones began to walk away after being instructed not to. The defendant continued, with the trooper reaching out to grab him to prevent him from proceeding any further. Jones pulled away briefly with his elbow hitting the officer’s hand. After being detained and transported, a breathalyzer test revealed that Jones’ BAC level was .17, more than twice the legal limit.

Jones will serve a 12-month sentence on the misdemeanor assault and battery charge. He received a 12-month sentence with 10 months suspended on the DUI charge and must pay a $250 fine.