Primary Accomplishments Since Taking Office in February 2015
- Obtained 26 convictions on homicides including the voluntary manslaughter conviction of a police officer for killing an unarmed 18 year old. Obtained a conviction for the attempted murder of a Portsmouth police officer resulting in 30 years of active incarceration for that and other charges. Successfully convicting violent criminals is essential for improving public safety and represents a high priority for my office.
- Co-hosted a human trafficking summit in Portsmouth. Law enforcement, mental health professionals, suicide prevention specialists, nurses, students, organizations and interested members of the community participated.
- Initiated a consistent training program with the Portsmouth Police Department where our attorneys train the police department on the third Thursday of every month on different topics such as guidelines for constitutional search and seizure practices that are crucial to achieving just prosecution.
- Built a department of attorneys which better reflects the racial richness of Portsmouth, with excellent experience and training at a wide range of leading law schools. This fulfills a 2015 campaign promise.
- Appointed by the McAuliffe Administration to the State Child Fatality Review Team (where I represent the Commonwealth’s Attorneys for the State of Virginia). The team also includes a sheriff, a 911 dispatch supervisor, a social services rep, and behavioral health dept director, several doctors and more. The Team’s purpose is to develop recommendations for prevention, education and improved child death investigation.
- Established the Ctrl + Alt + Del Program to help reduce recidivism (a return to prison after being released) by having our prosecutors directly engage with those who have been convicted of crimes. Through this program, we have provided information with real reentry resources, conducted job preparedness seminars, encouraged rights restoration and discussed pitfalls to help the participants become productive members of society upon re-entry This effort included a workshop at St. Brides Correctional Center attended by 300 incarcerated people. This fulfills a 2015 campaign promise.
- Created the Future Leaders Initiative. As a part of this program over one hundred young people from Portsmouth have shadowed with attorneys in the Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office and have become Junior Commonwealth’s Attorneys. This fulfills a 2015 campaign promise.
- Established an ongoing Multi Jurisdiction Grand Jury (MJGJ) in cooperation with the Virginia Attorney General and my peers in Chesapeake, Norfolk and Suffolk. This investigative grand jury meets once a month and will be a useful tool in facilitating prosecution of cold case homocides, violent gang crimes and other dangerous offenses.
- Launched the Social Media by the Statutes Program to teach students about the dangers and possible criminal ramifications of inappropriate texting and social media sharing. This program launched this June at two Portsmouth high schools with great participation and will be repeated in the years to come. This fulfills a 2015 campaign promise.
- Modernized our Case Management System with new software to track and update felony and misdemeanor offenses. Our new system has helped lead to faster initial contact with victims and witnesses and has helped with our overall efficiency.
- Established first ever in house weekly training for attorneys for continuous attainment of new skills.
- Signed an amicus brief supporting the constitutional authority of Governor McAuliffe to restore the voting rights of Virginians who had been permanently disenfranchised from participating in political life due to prior felony convictions even after completing their court-ordered sentences.