New Kent Charles City Chronicle

News for New Kent County and Charles City County, Virginia | September 27, 2022

Colonial Heights’ man convicted of forging name on public documents in Charles City

By Andre Jones | September 6, 2022 11:24 pm

A Colonial Heights man who identified himself falsely to law enforcement officers in Charles City has been found guilty on two felonies and one misdemeanor.

Rodney Dean Bowman Jr., 28, of the 300 block of Moorman Avenue, was found guilty on one charge each of forgery of a public record, uttering, and misdemeanor identifying himself falsely to an officer as part of a Tuesday afternoon contested trial in Charles City County Circuit Court. He was found not guilty on one count of misdemeanor having a fake identification card, while an additional charge of misdemeanor receiving of stolen goods was dropped.

On Mar. 30, Charles City Sheriff’s Office Deputy Matthew Miller and a call for service from Tiny Little Children Daycare about an individual underneath one of the company’s vans with a saw. A be-on-the-lookout was issued for a red car, and Miller began canvasing the area. Eventually, the deputy encountered the red vehicle parked on the side of the road. As Miller approached the car, one of the passengers, identified as Bowman, was already outside the vehicle. Miller walked up to the vehicle and noticed a saw in plain view on the back seat. Miller also testified that he heard the defendant say, “I don’t want to deal with any of this mess.”

After questioning the driver and another passenger, Miller placed those two individuals under arrest on suspicion of stealing a catalytic converter from the van. Another officer joined Miller and placed Bowman under arrest as well. A search of the trunk discovered a backpack that had two identification cards in it, as well as catalytic converters.

Bowman was taken into custody and questioned by Charles City First Sergeant Floyd Miles Jr. Prior to the interview, Miles had Bowman sign a written Miranda Warning acknowledgement. On that paper, Bowman wrote the name as Dustin Kebler and initialed different locations on the document that he understood his rights. After the interview was conducted, an investigation revealed that the two identifications inside of the backpack were different. While one was Bowman’s, the other was not, with that name being not the defendant’s nor the name he had written on the Miranda Warning acknowledgement document. Because of that, felony charges were filed against Bowman.

During the argument, defense attorney Richard Collins argued multiple viewpoints, with his first defense being that the discovery of the false identification would not have taken place because Bowman was not connected to the original crime of stealing the catalytic converters. But Charles City Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Tyler Klink rebutted, saying that officers had the right to take him into custody as evidence was in the vehicle that could have linked him to the original crime. Once the defendant was in custody, the officers had a right to check the vehicle for evidence linking the individuals who were arrested in the car according to Klink’s argument, which Judge B. Elliott Bondurant agreed to.

Collins second argument was that the Miranda Warning acknowledgement document that was signed by Bowman was not a public document and therefore could not be used to charge the forgery and uttering charges. But Klink read directly from the state lawbook, saying that any document that can be used as evidence and presented in the court that is provided by a law enforcement officer for records of detailing something that occurred is a public document. Bondurant agreed to that as well.

After closing remarks, Bondurant agreed that Bowman committed the crimes, pointing to the actions of the defendant.

“He signed the document with a false name,” the judge commented. “The thing that convinces me he knew what he was doing is because in his backpack he has two IDs and on the Miranda Warning document, he signed a third and completely different name. I find him guilty of the forgery and uttering.”

Formal sentencing for Bowman is scheduled for Nov. 18. In other circuit court proceedings:

–Nipun Chhabra, 25, of the 5100 block of Hunters Creek Place, Suffolk, had one charge of possession of a Schedule I/II drug dismissed after successfully completing the First Offender Program.

–Stanley Leon Outlaw Jr., 26, of the 14000 block of The Glebe Lane, Charles City, entered guilty pleas to maliciously throwing an item/missile at a car and felony child abuse as part of a plea agreement. One count each of misdemeanor destruction of property and misdemeanor assault and battery on a family member were dropped as part of the plea deal.

In a summary of evidence, on Mar. 7, Outlaw had gotten into an argument with Elizabeth Ann Lawrence after she refused to by him items from Haupt’s Store. After she left the store, Outlaw followed Lawrence to her residence and attempted to open the doors to her car, ripping off the handles. The argument escalated, with Outlaw throwing a rock at the back windshield of Lawrence’s car, shattering the windshield. Inside the vehicle was a child, thus triggering the felony child abuse charge lodged at Outlaw.

Under the plea agreement, Outlaw received a five-year sentence with four years, five months suspended (seven months to serve) on the felony child abuse conviction. All five years on the malicious throwing of an item/missile at a car were suspended.